Vegan Kashke Bademjan: Persian Eggplant and Walnut Dip

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Hello! I am knee deep in wedding planning (it’s next week!) but I wanted to make sure I got this recipe up because it is a winner.  The combo of eggplant, sautéed onion and walnuts is so good I ate this with a spoon.  I used vegan yogurt that worked really well but feel free to use Greek yogurt or the traditional Kashke which is this tangy yogurt like Iranian dairy product you can get at Middle Eastern grocery stores.

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You’ll need:

  • 3 medium Chinese or Italian eggplants (I used Chinese), peeled
  • 7 tablespoons oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 0.5 cup water
  • Salt/pep
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, plus extra for garnish (I roasted mine but you don’t have to)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed dried mint (I used spearmint)
  • 0.75 cups Vegan Greek Yogurt*
  • Optional for garnish: pomegranate seeds, fresh mint
  • Optional to serve with: pita bread, fresh vegetables, crackers

*I used Kite Hill Vegan Plain Greek Yogurt it’s the only vegan yogurt I like… you could use a different brand or, if not worried about vegan, regular Greek Yogurt.  Or you could get super authentic and use Kashke from a Middle Eastern grocery store- kind of like Persian Sour Cream.

To Make:

  1. Cut eggplants in half or quarters. Heat four tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Arrange eggplant in a single layer in the skillet. Cover the skillet and fry the eggplants for about 6 minutes, keeping an eye on them… you want them to be golden brown.  Mine had a couple that burnt a little and the world didn’t end. Flip over the eggplants, add a little more oil if necessary, cover again and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  2. In a separate medium skillet, cook the diced onions in a few tablespoons of oil until golden- about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in crushed mint.  Reserve a tablespoon of mixture for garnish.
  3. Sprinkle garlic, pinch salt, black pepper, cayenne and water over the eggplant.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  4. Grind walnuts in a food processor until powdery but not  nut buttery.
  5. Add walnuts and onion mixture to eggplant and stir until combined.  Add yogurt in a little at time until desired creaminess.  Season to taste with salt/pep.  Garnish with mint, pomegranate and reserved onion mixture.  Serve with pita and veggies.

Inspired by PersianMama

 

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