Last week my sister and I stopped by this new Persian restaurant /bakery for lunch. She ordered a kabob like sandwich and I ordered this eggplant dip with some warm naan/lavash like bread and crudités. I would have loved to try the sandwiches which looked mighty delicious across the table, but all had some form of meat.
I’m glad I ordered this dip because I’m in love.
By now if you have been looking through my blog, you’ve noticed I love eggplant. And to think I disliked it as a child and only started eating it late in my adult life. Perhaps because I never prepped and cooked it properly. This eggplant dip for me is the next generation of babaganoush, as much as I love babaganoush I think this is my new favorite.
So after lunch I was curious to know what I ate because all I could get from the restaurant employees was “eggplant and yogurt dip”. I looked up the recipe and experimented it several times thereafter, Ive now settled for this adapted version which we love and is not so calorie dense.
This dip is also called Kashkeh Bademjan, bademjan is eggplant in Persian, borani is a general term for yogurt based appetizers and kashkeh is very similar to greek style full fat yogurt/ sourcream. I found Kashkeh at a local Middle-eastern market, but you can totally use full fat Greek yogurt or sour cream. For a vegan version I found plant yogurt with a couple of spoons of lemon juice or sauerkraut juice works well.
The dip on the left is made with homemade almond milk yogurt and the one on the right is with kashkeh. The consistency may vary with the amount of moisture and how much yogurt you add. It doesn’t really change the taste of the dip much.
Persian Eggplant Dip
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large eggplant or 3-4 long Japanese style eggplants
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- a small teaspoon of tomato paste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 generous pinch of saffron
- 3 tablespoons of Kashkeh or 1/2 cup couple of days old Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 2-3 tbsps of cold pressed e.v olive oil +1 teaspoon for sautéing the onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves or 1/2 tbsp dried mint leaves
- Salt & pepper
- Slivered almonds
- dried mint leaves ( if you can’t find dried mint use a little fresh mint, it’s essential for the final taste)
Makes about two cups of dip.
Start by dicing the eggplant. Generously salt the eggplant and set in a colander for at least an hour. This removes the bitterness and draws some of the water out. Rinse the eggplant throughly and pat dry with a clean towel.
Warm a little oil in a sauce pan, add chopped onion, garlic and sauté till soft. Now add the eggplant , turmeric, saffron, tomato paste, salt and pepper and sauté for 6-8 minutes till the eggplant is cooked and slightly browned. Adding a few drops of water if drying out.
Cool slightly. In a food processor add the eggplant mix, lemon juice, mint , olive and purée till smooth. Serve garnished with slivered almonds and mint leaves.
To make the yogurt dip
- 1 cup Greek yogurt any fat% you normally buy or i used homemade almond milk yogurt
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
- 3-4 leaves mint
In a small food processor blitz garlic clove. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times till well blended. Season and serve.
My idea was to build a meal around this dip. All you need is a few greens, tomatoes, couple of grilled veggies and oven fries only because one of my children asked for it.
- Grilled tofu or other proteins, for grilled tofu recipe click here.
- Make a cup of yogurt dip. Recipe above!
- Roughly chop a few romaine lettuce
- Slice a few cucumbers
- a handful of baby tomatoes
- Simply grill a few veggies; zucchini, green onions, peppers are good or whatever you have and like.
- toast up some store bought naan or pita bread
- Scrub a couple of sweet potatoes slice into batons or into wedge. spray with a little oil, season and bake in a 375F oven for 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness.
- On a toasted naan spread the dip, top with the above suggestions. Enjoy!