This warm eggplant dip is so comforting and delicious!
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I had to share my version of the Persian eggplant dip known as Kashke Bademjan. It’s so good, and I have it every time we go out for Persian food. It’s warm, delicious, and filled with saffron and roasted eggplant flavor. Traditionally, this dip contains Kashke, a very salty fermented yogurt. It’s a popular ingredient in Persian and many Middle Eastern cuisines that adds a creamy, salty tang. Don’t worry, though! If you can’t get your hands on kashk, you can use Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Why guests will love it!
Sweet, caramelized onion
buttery olive oil
A flavor-packed warm eggplant dip even eggplant haters will enjoy!
Here’s what you need
- Eggplants -peeled and sliced
- Olive oil -try the one in our shop from my family’s olive trees in Crete!
- Large onion -halved and sliced
- Garlic cloves -grated
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Ground turmeric
- Saffron broth: a pinch of saffron and 3/4 cup boiling water
- Kashk -sub Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Dried mint leaves
Make sure you pick the freshest eggplant you can find and that you use them right away. The longer they sit around, the more bitter they get. The long, skinny Chinese eggplant or traditional small eggplant has the best flavor, so be on the lookout for those. Peel your eggplant with a vegetable peeler and cut it in half longways. Then, cut into slices and salt liberally to help the eggplant release its bitter juices. Adding a plate to the eggplant provides extra weight to coax out the juices.
How to make Persian Eggplant Dip known as Kashke Bademjan
- Season the eggplant slices liberally with salt and place them in a colander.
- Place a plate on top to weigh them down and set aside for 30-60 minutes to release juices from the eggplant.
- After draining the eggplant, discard the juices.
- Pat the eggplant completely dry using paper towels.
In the meantime, make the saffron broth:
- Add a pinch of saffron to a small pitcher.
- Then pour 3/4 cup of boiling hot water into the pitcher and set aside.
Make the caramelized onions:
- Place the onions and a quarter cup (or more) of olive oil in a skillet.
- Season with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until soft and caramelized.
- Add the garlic and warm through until fragrant.
- Season with mint and turmeric and warm through.
- Reserve a quarter of this mixture to use as a garnish.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant slices in several batches until soft and golden.
- Alternatively, you may roast the eggplant in a preheated 425 °F oven until tender.
- Once the eggplants are finished frying, transfer them to a tray lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Chop the eggplant and add it to the pan with the onions.
- Add the saffron broth and cook it over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
- Mash the eggplant.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the eggplant still has a bit of a bitter taste, add a half teaspoon or more of sugar.
- Stir in the kashk and transfer to a serving plate.
- Garnish with the reserved onions and some dried mint, and drizzle some kashk over the top.
Once you put your dip on a serving plate, some oil will separate from the dip. You can easily remove it with a paper towel. I strategically place my paper towels around the dip and leave them to soak up the oil while I garnish the dip with kashk (or yogurt), the reserved onions, and dried mint to take it to the next level. All you need to do from there is toast some bread or pita to serve it with. It’s a lovely warm appetizer everyone will enjoy. If you like this, try my Eggplant Phyllo Spiral Pies, Greek-Style Eggplant Meatballs, and Vegan Greek Eggplant Dip. Kali Orexi!
- 2 eggplants, peeled and sliced
- olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, grated
- salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- saffron broth: a pinch of saffron and 3/4 cup boiling water
- 2-3 tablespoons kashk, Greek yogurt, or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons dried mint leaves
Season the eggplant slices liberally with salt and place them in a collander. Place a plate on top to weigh them down and set aside for 30-60 minutes. The eggplant will release lots of liquid. Drain it and discard. Pat them completely dry using paper towels.
In the meantime, make the saffron broth by adding a pinch of saffron to a small pitcher. Pour 3/4 cup of boiling hot water into the pitcher and set aside.
Make the caramelized onions: Place the onions, a quarter cup (or more) olive oil in a skillet. Season with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until soft and caramelized. Add the garlic and warm through until fragrant. Season with mint and turmeric and warm through. Reserve a quarter of this mixture to use as a garnish.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant slices in several batches until soft and golden.
Alternatively, you may roast the eggplant in a preheated 425 °F oven until tender.
Once the eggplants are finished frying transfer them to a tray lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Chop the eggplant and add it to the pan with the onions.
Add the saffron broth and cook it over medium-heat for 15 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Mash the eggplant. Taste and adjsut the seasoning if needed. If the eggplant still has a bit of a bitter taste add a half teaspoon or more of sugar.
Add the kashk and mix together.
Transfer the dip to a serving plate. Garnish with the reserved onions, some dried mint, and drizzle some kashk over the top.
Serve this dip with toasted pita bread.
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