12 baby eggplants, with stems intact
3 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 1/2 tablespoons each salt and ground cumin
2 - 3 dried red chili peppers
1/2 teaspoon oregano
black pepper to taste
Make a 1-inch slit in each eggplant. Place the eggplants in a saucepan with a large amount of lightly salted boiling water and cook until just tender (about 10-12 minutes). Drain, cool and transfer the eggplants to a large crock or jar.
In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients with about 4 cups of water. Pour this mixture over the eggplants. If necessary, add water so that the eggplants are covered. Cover the container tightly and let stand at room temperature for 3-4 days.