Kashke Bademjan is a Persian eggplant dip, served warm or at room temperature unlike many other eggplant dips (like baba ganoush) which are best served cold. It’s a great way to spice up your eggplant game, and couldn’t be easier to make!
I discovered kashke bademjan by accident. A family friend served it up as an appetizer before dinner one night. As an eggplant lover, I was intrigued to try something outside of my eggplant wheelhouse. Holy moly, it’s good! I immediately began to research the recipe, learning how it’s made and deciding how I would make it more approachable.
Kashke bademjan is delicious in the summer when local eggplants are in season. It’s also lovely in cooler months as it’s a comforting dip served warm. It’s great as a component to a larger meal, as a type of meze, or simply as a vegetarian snack! You can make it ahead and gently warm it back up before serving. You can eat it cold too, but it’s better warm or at room temperature.
How to make a lighter Kashke Bademjan
Traditionally, one would peel, slice, fry, and later mash or puree the eggplant. I want to lighten up the dip for a less guilty alternative, while still keeping the intense flavor profile. Whereas a more typical kashke bademjan sometimes has a layer of golden-hued oil on the surface, this version cuts down massively on the oil, but still packs a ton of flavor! For this recipe you roast the whole eggplants in the oven, and then peel and mash the flesh. Next, thinly slice a large onion, and slowly caramelized it in a moderate amount of oil. Reserve a large spoonful of caramelized onions for the garnish.
To the caramelized onions in the pan, add garlic, dried mint, turmeric, saffron, and the roasted, mashed eggplant. This is already a flavor bomb before adding the kashk, a Middle Eastern ingredient made from drained yogurt. It’s also referred to as Persian style whey. To be honest, I didn’t bother to purchase this specialty ingredient. Instead I used plain yogurt which still provides a wonderful creaminess and tang. I’ve eaten kashke bademjan both ways, with kashk and with yogurt, and they are both delicious. Don’t feel compelled to buy a jar of kashke if you don’t think you’ll use it again. The yogurt works fine in a pinch!
A garnish of reserved caramelized onions, crunchy walnuts and a sprig of mint are the final touches before serving with pita bread, lavash, or even sliced baguette. You won’t miss the excess oil, nor the mess of frying on your stove-top. The flavors are fabulous! This is a great dip for entertaining guests or even just snacking. As much as I enjoy a creamy baba ganoush, this may be my new favorite eggplant dip. It has a nice sweetness from the onions, and great crunch from the walnuts on top. Scoop it onto pita bread, lavash, slices baguette, or even pita chips or crackers.
Other recipes you may like
- Spicy Red Lentil Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Hot Reuben Dip
- Homemade Manti (Turkish/Armenian Dumplings)
- Armenian Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Sini Kofte (Baked Kofte)
What is your favorite kind of dip? Have you ever tried an eggplant dip? Let me know in the comments below!
Kashke Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Dip)
- 2 medium to large Italian/globe eggplants
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron steeped in 1 tablespoon hot water
- 1/2 cup kashk, plain yogurt, or sour cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- Sprig of fresh mint
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place eggplants on a foil-lined sheet pan and roast, flipping over occasionally, until skin is blistered in spots, and the flesh is fork tender, about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the eggplants. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Peel off the skin and remove the stem. Place the flesh of the eggplants into a bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt, and stir occasionally until softened and caramelized. Lower the heat to medium-low if necessary. This can take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes. Remove 2 tablespoons of caramelized onions for garnish, and set aside.
- To the pot of caramelized onions, add the garlic and dried mint and stir to combine. Then add in the mashed eggplant, turmeric, and saffon/water mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes until the eggplant is heated through, and the flavors have combined. Add the kashk, yogurt, or sour cream, mix thoroughly, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the eggplant mixture to a serving bowl and top with the reserved caramelized onions, chopped walnuts, and a sprig of fresh mint. Serve warm or at room temperature with pita bread, lavash, or slices of baguette.
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