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!
Kashke bademjan is sometimes written kashk-e bademjan or kashk e bademjan, and literally translates to kashk and eggplant in Persian. This Persian eggplant dip great as a component to a larger meal, as a type of meze, or simply as a vegetarian snack!
It's 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.
As much as I enjoy a creamy baba ghanoush, this may be my new favorite eggplant dip. It has a nice sweetness from the onions and great crunch from the walnuts on top. To serve, scoop it onto pita bread, lavash, sliced baguette, or even pita chips or crackers.
- Eggplants: I recommend using Italian or globe eggplants instead of the more slender Asian style eggplants for this Persian eggplant dip. They are more fleshy and have a better yield for the purposes of this recipe. Also, Asian eggplants can sometimes shrink and dry up too much when roasting.
- Kashk: Kashk is a Middle Eastern ingredient made from drained yogurt. It's also referred to as Persian style whey. You can find it in Middle Eastern markets and online. You may also substitute plain yogurt or sour cream which still provides a wonderful creaminess and tang. I've eaten kashke bademjan with kashk and with yogurt, and they are both delicious. Don't feel compelled to buy a jar of kashk if you don't think you'll use it again. The yogurt works fine in a pinch!
- Walnuts: Crunchy walnuts are super traditional in kashke bademjan. They add great nutty flavor and a wonderful texture. You only need a couple tablespoons as your garnish, but if someone in your group has a nut allergy you can omit them entirely or serve them on the side for the others to add to their individual plates.
How to make a lighter Kashke Bademjan
Traditionally, one would peel, slice, fry, and later mash or puree the eggplant. I have lightened 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 begin by roasting 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 remaining caramelized onions in the pan add garlic, dried mint, turmeric, saffron, and the roasted, mashed eggplant. This is already a flavor bomb even before adding the kashk. Next, stir in the kashk (or plain yogurt or sour cream).
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.
Please scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe (in a printable recipe card) including ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
This lightened up recipe helps to avoid the mess of frying on your stove-top. Meanwhile the flavors are still fabulous with a fraction of the fat! This is a great dip for entertaining guests or even just snacking.
You can make kashk e bademjan ahead of time and gently warm it back up before serving. You can eat it cold too, but it's better warm or at room temperature.
Prior to mixing in the kashk or yogurt, the dip can be frozen for up to 2 months, then defrosted, reheated, and combined with the kashk or yogurt before serving.
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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
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon saffron steeped in 1 tablespoon hot water
- ½ 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°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.
- Kashk is a Middle Eastern ingredient made from drained yogurt. It's also referred to as Persian style whey. You can find it in Middle Eastern markets and online. You may also substitute plain yogurt or sour cream which still provides a wonderful creaminess and tang.
- I recommend using Italian or globe eggplants instead of the more slender Asian style eggplants for this Persian eggplant dip. They are more fleshy and have a better yield for the purposes of this recipe. Also, Asian eggplants can sometimes shrink and dry up too much when roasting.
- If someone in your group has a nut allergy you can omit the walnuts entirely or serve them on the side for the others to add to their individual plates.
- You can make kashke bademjan ahead of time and gently warm it back up before serving. You can eat it cold too, but it's better warm or at room temperature.
- Prior to mixing in the kashk or yogurt, the dip can be frozen for up to 2 months, then defrosted, reheated, and combined with the kashk or yogurt before serving.
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*