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  Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

“In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip … earthy, rustic, nutty, slightly tangy, creamy, smoky delicious. Some things come together with small beginnings, and for strange reasons. This dip was no different and found it’s origins in a wizened old forgotten pomegranate that I discovered while cleaning out the fridge. Also popped out a bowl that held an eggplant I had roasted 2 days ago, a small carton of Greek yogurt, and the plan was made.Eggplant Walnut Smoked Truffle Dip & pomegranates It was going to be a Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip which would use up all the goodness that lay forgotten in the fridge. Also a chance to use some fabulous Black Truffle Sea Salt from Olive Tree Trading, a special product that really shines when used. It might be an expensive product, but a little goes a long way. On pasta, on toast, over dips, on artisan bread, in pasta sauce, over popcorn, on salads; really steps up the flavours!

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip With it of course some really really good quality extra virgin olive oil from the same company, a product that speaks for itself. As always, a dish is only as good as it’s ingredients and this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip was just that. You could always use sea salt but a black truffle sea salt is a noticeably charming addition, quite different.Olive Oil & Black Truffle Sea SaltThe rest of this Persian inspired dip has humble origins, almost staple pantry ingredients. How can you go wrong with eggplant {or baingan as locally called}, walnuts, garlic, yogurt and olive oil? Not possible right? Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip And the good thing is that if you blend it smooth, picky eaters can’t figure out what’s in this pâté like dip. It’s a win win; a delicious one at that too. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with crusty wholegrain bread, etc.

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
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A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: minutes
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Make 4-6 slits around and tuck in unpeeled garlic cloves.
  2. Roast over a low open gas flame, or in oven until charred all over and soft.
  3. Place in a bowl covered, until cool enough to handle. gently peel the charred skin off, squeeze out the garlic from pods. {This can be done a couple of days in advance and refrigerated}.
  4. Place all ingredients in bowl of processor or blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle generously with good quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle over some black truffle salt, garnish with pomegranate pearls. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
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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!
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
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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The Masala Dabba #3“Each spice has a special day to it. For turmeric it is Sunday, when light drips fat and butter-colored into the bins to be soaked up glowing, when you pray to the nine planets for love and luck.”
The Mistress of Spices

The Masala Dabba #3. We enter month #3 of our collaborative spice journey exploring or rather ‘shooting’ spices, a fun interaction with DolphiaSimi,  Meeta and me. The spices we cover for The Masala Dabba #3 are cardamom, whole pepper and turmeric. I think I love the spice journey best. March is synonymous with Spring, new beginnings and a whole lot of colour. Thandai This March also had holi, the festival of colour, which inspired me to shoot several times through the month. I did a fun version of Thandai for KitchenAid, one you can play around with endlessly. The recipe included a bit of pepper and cardamom.Thandai for HoliI’m just a little badly organised, procrastinate a lot, so I didn’t get down to editing the images for The Masala Dabba #3. Now I’m rushing to post on the last day of the month!TurmericWinter in North India means a lot of fresh turmeric root, and the colour it yields when it hits the grinding stone is amazing. Ground fresh turmeric makes for a fabulous turmeric milk. You can find the recipe for warm soothing turmeric milk on Dolphia’s blog.Turmeric RootOur recent trip to Banaras actually brought alive and to the forefront the Indian love for spices and everything colourful.Banaras 2016The play of spices ruled the roost. And if there are spices, can colour be far behind? Do read about Banaras and it’s beautiful culture if you find a moment. We had the most fun time ever!

Banaras 2016March was a busy month. I haven’t been blogging too much, but I made a mean Gajar ka halwa, Rich Indian Carrot Pudding adapted from Delectable Platter. The Indian dessert, delicately laced with green cardamom, was absolutely delicious. Green cardamom is an interesting spice and works equally well in savoury and sweet recipes. I use it a lot in kormas, a delicate Awadhi lamb/chicken curry.

Gajar ka halwa, Rich Indian Carrot PuddingNot so much black cardamom. It’s a larger, more robust almost rustic spice, and you would often find it in a lamb curry or as part of garam masala, a baghar/tadka/tempering maybe, also in rice pulao. I haven’t ever heard of it in a sweet preparation ever. Have you?

The Masala Dabba #3

Kormas, curries, pulaos and garam masalas also use a lot of whole back pepper. The Thandai interestingly had some too. There are several colours in whole pepper, though the black is most widely available, and perhaps the cheapest. There is a controversial pink pepper, actually they are dried berries I hear, and it is said to be toxic. However, it is used often in the West. I use it sometimes to sprinkle over wholegrain bread, very sparingly, just for visual appeal.Pink Pepper Rosemary BreadAnd that pretty much covers the spices for March. Spices are addictive to shoot. I can’t barely wait for time to shoot in April. All I know is that it’s going to be another colourful and fun month!The Masala Dabba #3

The Masala Dabba #3

The Masala Dabba #3The other Spice Girls have been amazing with their spices this month.
Do stop by Story of Cooks and Turmeric n Spice. Meeta has yet to blog spices this month.

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

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