Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kashkeh Bademjan; Iranian Eggplant

(about 2 cups)

I had been wanting to try this version of an eggplant dip for quite some time. I frequently make baba ghanoush which is different in that it contains tahini and no mint or caramelized onions. While I was preparing this, I suddenly craved having this aromatic eggplant warm, with a side of rice. Oh my God! This was one of the tastiest dishes I've ever had!

Kashkeh Bademjan contains kashk which I wasn't able to find. After mentioning it to a colleague, she sent me a link to a shop north of Dallas which might carry it. I plan on making a trip there soon. Kashk is a type of thick whey which is similar to sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Adapted from a recipe posted at Shahiya
3 japanese eggplants, about 1 1/2 lbs
2 tbsp olive oil
small handful fresh mint, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 pinches cinnamon 
2 pinches dried mint
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp tumeric
salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Wash the eggplants, then prick them all over with a small sharp knife. Lightly coat them with olive oil then lay them on a cookie sheet.

Bake them for 30-40 minutes or until they have softened. Remove from oven and allow to cool. This can be done the day before.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add the mint and fry for a minute or two until it becomes fragrant. Remove the mint with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the garlic to the skillet and fry for a minute, then add the onions. Lower the heat and slowly saute the onion mixture until nicely browned; this can take up to 20 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, slit open the eggplants. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh. *Chop up the flesh and set aside. *I chopped up mine roughly because at that point I had decided to serve this dish with rice. If you are preparing this as a dip, then chop the eggplant finely.

When the onions are ready, set aside about 1/4 of them for garnish. Add the eggplant to the skillet with the remaining onions and add about 3/4 of the fried mint reserving the rest for garnish. Add the tomato paste, water, cinnamon and dried mint, and stir the mixture while heating it up. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the yogurt, sour cream and turmeric. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve warm as a vegetable side, or allow to cool and serve as a dip or spread.


Anonymous said...

These are the spices that make my heart sing! a wonderful dish!
Mary x

Gerlinde in Washington said...

I wish I had made twice as much. It's all gone.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my, this sounds divine. I might even throw a few yellow raisins in it. I lived in Teheran 2 years age 10-12 and they use a lot of raisins in their foods. I look forward to trying this! Eggplant is a favorite of ours.

Mary Bergfeld said...

This sounds wonderful and I love that it is different from most dips. I'll have to give this a try. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Torviewtoronto said...

eggplant looks fabulous and flavourful

Anonymous said...

I am Iranian and this recipe looks pretty similar to the way my mom makes it but ours doesn't look as chunky. YUM!!!

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Yes, I made it on the chunky side and served it as a vegetable side rather than a dip. :)

Sara said...

Wow, this looks amazing! What an awesome combination of flavors. :)

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Sara, lately I have made this a lot more often than baba ghanoush. I love the flavors too.

Kahluachukkles said...

I am saddened with my amateur cooking skill. Thin long eggplants are not in seasoning the US so I used the large ones. I should have halved them and roasted face down. :-( I also missed the "spooning out of eggplant" and left skins on. I didn't have a lot of fresh mint so accommodated with more dry which I didn't mind. I don't like a lot of tumeric so went sparingly. It was a little of a chunky mess though eaten on top of white rice it wasn't too bad. I'll try again or stick with baba ganoush. :-) thank you for the recipe.

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