Makdous المكدوس are oil cured eggplants. Part of Levantine cuisine, they are tiny, tangy eggplants stuffed with walnuts, red pepper, garlic, olive oil and salt and chilli pepper.
And the Beqaa Region is famous for the best produce and this type of pickles are famous in that Region, especially in Baalback Area. Even the eggplant growing in that part of Lebanon taste meatier and tastier than the rest.
Lebanese Mountain Villages are well known for their food specialties. As winter takes hold, villagers resort to their pantries for preserved delicacies. As I mentioned before my mom was born in a small town outside Baalback called Fakha, like every woman there , they spend the summer preparing all kinds of Mouneh , by preserving their vegetables turning them into pickles or drying them on a thread to be dehydrated in the cold snowy winter. The fruits are preserved into jams, compote or dried, the fresh beans and legumes are dried, and the wheat berries are turned into burghul or freikheh and or grounded into flour. Meat are preserved with its fat and kept in jars to be used during the winter cold days.
This Makdous Recipe or Pickled Eggplant is a specialty to the Baalback region, and I learned this recipe from my mom’s cousin who became one of the best professional Makdous makers ever. Every year she prepares more than 100 jars, mostly are given as house gift and every one waits for his/her gift when she returns from the village.
1- boil enough water to cover the eggplant
2- add the eggplant and cover with a towel to avoid turning them dark
3- boil for couple of minutes only
4- make sure a bowl of ice water is ready
5- move the eggplant from hot to ice water to stop cooking
6- when cool leave in the colander cover with a tray over them and weigh with some food cans to drain all the water - leave for three days
7- stuff the center with a mix of minced garlic, toasted walnut, kosher salt and red chili
8-add them in the jar and turn the jar upside down for another three days, or until no more water is running out (leave then on the counter not in the fridge)
9- stand the jar up and fill it with good quality olive oil, yes you might need couple of litres . close tightly
10- the makdous will be ready within 3 1/2 weeks
11- choose small round purple eggplant for pickling. The flesh is white, barely has any seeds
enjoy with your meal, or as a sandwich Amazing flavour
Pickled Green Pepper
If you like to use the vinegar method of pickling eggplant this is the recipe: