Today I had the opportunity to learn a delicious and quick Iranian dish that I absolutely love. If you have never had the pleasure of eating Persian food you really should give it a try!
Persian food mainly consists of basmati rice, lots of preserved lemons and acidic hints, amazing authentic green and bright orange herbs and tons of spinach, vegetables and flat bread. It consists of dishes such Koobideh- spinach type of tart, Khorosh Fesenjian-lamb or chicken cooked in a walnut and pomegranate, Khoresht or stew served with basmati rice and salads.
Eggplants are actually known as the "potato" of Iran and the dish below taste a little like baba ganoush yet has a softer and more buttery texture and flavor. It really is utterly delicious and the perfect way to start a mediterraean themed meal. Why not follow it with some grape leaved wrapped salmon and home made baklava or serve it during a small plate party with a cucomber, tomato salad with citron, hummus some dolma and an octopus salad?
Mirza Ghasemi-Puree of Iranian Eggplant to be served as a dip
"Caviar de Aubergine"
-2 large eggplants
-1 can of tomato sauce
-2 small onions (cut into thirds and then into 1/2 inch slivers)
-3 bulbs of garlic (smashed)
-1 teaspoon of tumeric
-pinch of salt
1) Grill the 2 eggplant on a bbq or in the oven on broil for about 20 mins until skin is blackened and eggplants have shrunk in size.
2) Peel off all the black skin and quickly run the eggplant under water to remove all pieces of the skin from the exterior.
3) Mash and break up the eggplant flesh with a hand blender or the bottom of glass
4) Heat a flying pan with a good amount of sunflower oil (6 tbls) and cook pureed eggplant for 15 minutes over medium high heat. Eggplant should begin to stick together.
5) Add pinch of salt and smashed garlic to eggplant
6) In another pan add 2 tbls sunflower or olive oil to a pan and add onion slivers. Cook for a few minutes until they start to brown a bit.
7)Add pinch of tumeric, a clove of garlic, salt and the can of tomato sauce and cook for a few more minutes. Add eggplant and stir well to incorporate everything together.
8) Taste the amount of salt
9) Traditionally you should cover with 3 scrambled eggs. The eggs soak up some of the oil in the sauce and are a nice addition. I think I prefer it without and with pita.
Serve with pita, flat bread or baguette if it is all you have. We also had a yummy garden fresh basil, tomato, black olive, radish, cucumber salad.
* If you want to make Baba Ganoush the recipe is pretty similar to Caviar de Aubergine. The main difference is the omission of the turmeric and tomato and instead you take the mashed eggplant and you add 1/4 cup tahini, garlic, lemon juice and cumin and lastly drizzle with olive oil and serve! *