Global Veg » A Culinary Journal

Eggplant Caponata


We were having a family dinner in an Italian restaurant the other day when my husband declared that our appetizer tasted just like his grandmother’s recipe. Among the many things that make this odd (and interesting at the same time) is that my husband’s grandmother lived in India all her life and would never have been exposed to or eaten Italian food.


The dish in question was an eggplant and tomato relish that was part of the antipasto platter.  This is a very simple dish that is extremely easy to make (as you can see in the recipe below).  You can easily toggle between Italian and Indian with a couple of ingredient swap outs:

  1. Replace basil with cilantro
  2. Swap the balsamic with tamarind pulp
  3. Drop the garlic



Eggplant & Tomatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes


  1. 2 medium eggplants, cut into small cubes
  2. 3 large tomatoes, chopped finely
  3. 1 onion, diced
  4. 8-12 cloves of garlic, diced
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. a dozen fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  7. salt to taste
  8. optional- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and eggplants.
  4. Cook for about 30-45 minutes on low-medium heat until the eggplants are pulpy and the tomatoes are saucy. If the dish is too dry, add water in 1/4 cup increments as needed.
  5. Salt to taste.
  6. Add 1/2 of the basil leaves. Stir well.
  7. If you would like more tanginess, drizzle in some of the balsamic.

  • Elizabeth Varadan - Yum, this sounds good. And I can see where the simple switch of a couple of the ingredients would yield a similarly tasty dish.ReplyCancel

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