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!
¼teaspoonsaffron steeped in 1 tablespoon hot water
½cupkashk, plain yogurt, or sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
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.