KASHKE BADEMJAN is a traditional Persian eggplant spread that accompanies meals and is always a guest favorite. Bademjan literally translates into eggplant in Farsi while Kashka refers to a type of middle eastern dairy. Usually served a little warm or room temperature, this appetizer or side dish should always be accompanied by toasted pita or flat bread wedges. I recently made this dish for a dinner party I had at my sisters house in Los Angeles and as you can guess it was a crowd pleaser. If you are a Vegetarian, love Persian food or just eggplants than I would love to know your thoughts about this dish.
KASHEK BADEMJAN can also easily be made GLUTEN FREE if you serve it on a gluten free pita equivalent or VEGAN if you do not add the yogurt.
For my dinner party I made a serving of this for about 6 people. This yielded enough for each person to have a really nice size dollop! Keep in mind that you will need a potato smasher and a food processes to help you along with this
12 Small Italian Eggplants (or 6 large) Peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise
Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil is better for you)
4-5 cloves of Garlic minced
1.5 Large White Onion chopped
2/3 Cup of Water
1 TSP Salt
1 TSP Pepper
1/2 TSP Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Cup of Walnuts (optional)
2 TBSP dried Mint leaves
1-1.5 Cups Greek Yogurt (optional)
Start off by adding about 4 TBSP of Canola Oil to your skillet. Heat up the oil at medium heat and then add a single layer of eggplant. Cover and let cook for about 6 minutes. Keep an eye on the eggplant so that they don't burn. Once they are browned flip to the other side and let cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until they are brown as well. Remove cooked eggplant from skillet and onto a side dish. REPEAT until this step until all the eggplant is fried.
In the meantime get another skillet and add about 3 TBSP of Canola Oil to it. Let it heat up at medium heat for a minute and once the oil is hot add the chopped onions. Let the onion cook it they become a nice golden (caramelized) colour. This may take several minutes but stir often so they do not burn.
Once all the eggplant is finished and removed from the first skillet add the spices and the garlic to the skillet. Let the garlic cook for a minute making sure to stir it around and coat the bottom of the skillet. Also make sure that the temperature is still on medium so you do not burn the garlic. After a minute add back in the eggplant and mix together. Once mixed add in the water and cover. Let this simmer for about 15 minutes or until the eggplant becomes soft and the water evaporates.
In the other skillet the onions should start to look nice and golden. Once the onion is ready remove it from the heat and add in the dried mint. Make sure to crush the dried mint with your hands as you add it in to release/activate the mint smell. Mix in the mint with the onions. *I would remove 2-3 TBSP of this to use as a garnish later.
Add you walnuts to your food processor and chop them till they are fine but still crunchy (do not over do it otherwise they will become a paste or nut butter)
When the eggplant is nice and tender mash it with your potato smasher till it has a uniform consistence. When you feel that it has a nice consistency remove it from the heat and add in the onion, mint and walnuts and stir. Sometime I like to let it cook a little more before I add the onions, mint and walnuts but that is up to your discretion.
If you are Vegan you are finished.
If you want to continue with the dairy stir in the Greek yogurt until it is fully blended.
Transfer the mashed eggplant to a serving bowl, add the onion garnish you set aside earlier and serve at room temperature with toasted pita or flat bread.
What do you think of this dish? Would you try it??
This recipe originated from http://persianmama.com/ and was modified as per my taste and serving size.