Chefs' Recipes

Torshi and makdous

Pickled vegetables and oil-cured eggplant make a winning starter that's easy to prepare ahead.
Torshi and makdousMark Roper
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“Torshi is pickled vegetables and makdous is oil-cured eggplant,” says Joseph Abboud. Begin at least a week ahead to cure the eggplant.

Ingredients

Makdous

Method

1.To make torshi, bring vinegar, salt and 1 litre water to the boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Whisk in turmeric, pour over the vegetables in a non-reactive container to cover, cool, then seal and refrigerate to pickle (overnight, but preferably a week).
2.For makdous, bring 2.5 litres water to the boil and blanch eggplant until just tender (5-7 minutes). Refresh in a bowl of iced water. Drain and pat dry.
3.Preheat oven to 230°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Roast capsicum on tray, turning occasionally, until skin is charred and flesh is soft (25-35 minutes). Cool to room temperature then peel, remove seeds and finely chop. Add to a bowl with walnuts and garlic, season to taste and mix to form a coarse paste. Make a small, deep slit in one side of each eggplant, fill with a little paste, then rub eggplant with a large pinch of salt and pack into a sterilised jar. Cover with oil, seal with a lid and leave at room temperature to mature (1-2 weeks), then refrigerate. Once open, use within 3 days.
4.Combine garlic, spices and dried herbs in a bowl. Drain torshi, sprinkle with spice mixture and serve with makdous at room temperature.

Lebanese eggplant are available from select greengrocers. Substitute peeled, halved Japanese eggplant.

Notes

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