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baingan

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip“As while other passions in your life may, at some point, begin to bank their fires, the shared happiness of good homemade food can last as long as we do.”
Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is perhaps the yummiest dip I have made in a while. From an out and out eggplant hater, to one who got sold over a smokey roasted eggplant {or brinjal or ‘baingan’ as referred to here locally} one fine day, the journey was uneventful. There are some things I just will not touch with a barge-pole. Eggplant was one of those. For a long time. Until 3 years ago.

Persian Roasted Eggplant  Walnut DipThen one day I tasted a Baingan ka Bharta made by a lady who used to cook at my mothers. The flavours had me captivated, and her style of cooking this quintessential Indian vegetarian dish had me smitten. Garlicky, smokey, earthy, firey was what she presented on the table that memorable day. One bite down, and I chased her for the recipe. Simple as ever, it was a game changer for me. Then came a dip I tasted at Ruchira’s place more recently. Sold again!Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipThis Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip is inspired by both the recipes. The twice used garlic from the bharta, and the creaminess from the dip. Can there ever be too much garlic? For me, no. I love it with a vengeance, and here the roasted garlic pods with eggplant bit gives the dip subtle undertones. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. I love adding walnuts to dip so in they went, while the Greek yogurt adds the right creaminess that the dip demands. All in all it has a lot to offer. Go ahead and add some roasted paprika to it if you like, maybe some pomegranate pearls to give it a juicy pop of flavour and colour. Persian Roasted Eggplant & Walnut DipIn the blender and smooth, this barely takes time and is a great make ahead party option. It also doubles up as a useful ‘sauce‘ for wraps, or a sandwich spread if you like. I served the Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip with these equally earthy Rosemary Garlic Sesame Millet Crackers I made recently. The more garlicky, the better! And of course, since the dip was ready and sitting there, I decided to experiment with it for a few pictures.Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut DipJust different backgrounds, angles, light, what have you! Some work, some don’t, but the important thing is to keep experimenting. Darter & yours truly have announced our next Food Styling & Photography Workshop  in Delhi this September, our 5th one here, so it’s always fun to experiment and share ideas. Food Styling and Photography Workshop Sep 2016I tell the participants to try and shoot everyday, to constantly experiment with different backgrounds, angles, light and moods. I do just the same.

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography

Food props, Food styling, Food Photography, Flatlay, World Photography DayEveryday. With whatever I have on hand. If I haven’t baked or cooked something ‘image worthy’, then I just grab raw produce, knick-knacks or props from an earlier shoot, things lying on my desk, stuff I like, then shoot them in frame. It’s a huge learning process, and therapeutic too. The important thing is to experiment, to keep your mind open. I can never say that enough!

And that’s how I got to this delicious Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip too, with an open mind!

Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
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This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip ... earthy, smokey, moorish, delicious!
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
This Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip has a lot to offer. The twice used garlic, the walnuts, then the creaminess from Greek yogurt make it endearing. The caramelised sweet onions and garlic add more depth to the flavour. Play around with ingredients to suit your palette. That's the beauty of dips.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Roasted eggplant walnut dip
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut 1/2" slits into sides of eggplant and push in 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic. Roast over low flame {or under broiler} until charred {like for baingan ka bharta.} Leave covered in a bowl to cool.
  2. Remove garlic and press out roasted pods. Discard skin. peel off charred skin of eggplant. Chop roughly. {Can be done a day or so in advance}
  3. While the eggplant is cooling, heat ghee in heavy bottom pan and caramelise onions and garlic.
  4. Place in cooled eggplant with with caramelised onions & garlic and remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in chopped chives. Taste and adjust seasoning. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and keep for a couple of hours/overnight for flavours to mature. Top with chopped walnuts and chives.
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“Food is our common ground, a universal experience”
James Beard

Baingan ka bharta/Roasted Eggplant Stir FryMy hate hate relationship with the eggplant goes back to childhood, yet never say never may be cliched but true,  and it was love at first bite recently. It took one spoonful of this ‘Baingan ka Bhurta‘ 2 months ago to radically change my opinion, and I am glad I didn’t need to wait any longer.  Some time back, I ‘met‘ a very talented Croatian food blogger, TamaraBite My Cake over Povitica / Croatian Sweet Walnut Bread , one of my most cherished bakes to date! When this lovely lady from beautiful Croatia invited me to her Eat Global table, I offered her  this simple vegetarian stir fry, a savoury dish native to India.Baingan Ka Bharta  Roasted Eggplant Stirfry {Indian veg side dish}From childhood my culinary likes and dislike were very strong. While fruits were a relatively easy YES, veggies fell into HATES and LOVES. I intensely disliked that purple egg plant, the aubergine, or the humble ‘baingan’ as it is called in India. In my years of food blogging, I often read ‘excited eggplant food posts‘ and  wondered HOW on earth anyone could love that purple monster! To each his own and my happy non brinjal life carried on.Baingan Ka Bharta  Roasted Eggplant Stirfry {Indian veg side dish}Then one day my Mums help came by to cook for me as she was away. I had folk over and bought every vegetable under the sun {bittergourd, spinach, eggplant, beans, lady fingers, potatoes, pumpkin}. ‘Sushma‘ is an express cook and I love her different takes on the way food appears on the table. She takes a lot of pride in what she makes, yet at the end looks on nervously, awaiting approval!Baingan Ka Bharta  Roasted Eggplant Stirfry {Indian veg side dish}She decided to roast the brinjal and some time later hesitatingly asked me to check if it was cooked to my liking, check the salt etc. That look on her face, and I braced myself … how could I say no? So I gingerly took a TEENY quarter-spoonful … the rest was history! Stupid me. What had I been missing out on?Baingan Ka Bharta  Roasted Eggplant Stirfry {Indian veg side dish} I couldn’t believe I had missed this for so long.So I bring to Tamara’s global table an Indian preparation of the humble, now beautiful, eggplant, which is lip smacking good, and is worth every morsel! I cannot keep from eating spoonful after spoonful. Do go across to Bite My Cake for the recipe. What a good time to share something comforting that brings Indian cuisine to the forefront other than our famed Butter Chicken!Baingan Ka Bharta  Roasted Eggplant Stirfry {Indian veg side dish}I think this would be great served on a platter with pita chips too. It’s a simple dish, bursting with smoky good flavour, and fresh green chilies and coriander leaves. Reduce the green chilies if you aren’t very used to ‘hot’ food, but do add one at least.

As I sign off, I must announce the winner for the Shabby Apple Apron Giveaway. It’s Rachel @ Teacher by Day – Chef by Night who said “I think my favorite thing about this pie is the adorable little snowflake cut-out on the top!(I like S.A.on FB and am now spending time trying to figure out how to spend my money!)” Congrats Rachel. Will mail you soon, and the lovely folk at Shabby Apple will be in touch with you too! Thank you for joining the giveaway!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

 

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