Persian Style Eggplant Onion Spread is your New Go-To Party Dip

by - 2:11 PM



Ever since I discovered Attari Sandwich shop, this incredible hole-in-the-wall Persian restaurant tucked in a random street in the middle of Westwood - I was hooked. First it was the Kotlet sandwiches on tender french bread stuffed with mild and flavorful pickles. Then it was their Friday special... a heaping bowl of Osh or Ash-e-reshtet, a rich, bright, and hearty soup filled with beans, mint, fried onions, and yogurt that was perfect to sop up with a slice or twelve of Persian flatbread (Barbari). 

But what kept me coming back time and time again was this dip we simply called "that eggplant thing!" Creamy and rich, filled with crispy and caramelized onions, tons of roasted eggplant, and served with more of that heavenly flatbread, I could make a whole meal simply from this one side dish. I'd never had anything like it before, and honestly haven't really had anything like it anywhere else. 

Kashke Bademjan is one of the most popular Persian appetizers and once you try it you'll know exactly why. Bademjan is eggplant in Farsi, and Kashk is a yogurt similar to a Greek yogurt or sour cream. If you ever see it on a menu - do yourself a favor and try it. You won't be disappointed. 

One day our fridge was stocked with eggplant, and in my mind I was using it either for Ratatouille or a Baba Ganoush - but then for some random reason I was reminded of that dish I loved oh so much from Attari and started to do a little research into what makes it so good. I stumbled across Minimalist Baker's recipe for a Creamy Eggplant & Caramelized Onion Dip which took a lot of the great flavors of the dip and simplified it to something you could make with your regular kitchen pantry. 

Of course I started to riff on it a bit, because what's a girl to do with a simple recipe but start tinkering with the flavors? I like to think of recipes as a general outline, and then as you start to cook you add in color, the flourishes, the finesse. So all that said - here's my take on the dish, with a good measure of sugar & spice thrown in! 

Togarashi Spiced Kashke Bademjan
a.k.a. Niki's Take on Eggplant & Onion Dip

Serves 4-6 || Total Time 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 large eggplants, sliced into rounds
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. shichimi togarashi (or substitute cayenne) 
2 onions (white or yellow), sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 tbsp. chives, diced
Pita, chips, or veggies for dipping

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice eggplant into rounds and sprinkle each side with salt. Place in a colander or on a paper towel. Let sit for 10 minutes. The salt helps to draw out excess moisture from the eggplant. Lightly rinse the eggplant and then press dry between two towels. 

Preheat oven to broil and lightly oil a baking sheet. 

Place sliced eggplant rounds onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper, and togarashi spice. You can use any kind of spice you like here... but I'm obsessed with togarashi. It's a very delicate and delicious red pepper flavor with a distinct peppery kick. 

Roast for 8-10 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the center is softened and golden brown and the skin is crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool. 

While your eggplant is roasting, set a skillet over medium heat and add butter to melt. Add sliced onions and minced garlic. Stir often until onions start to brown and caramelize. Add sugar and keep mixing. The sugar will add an additional caramel layer to the onions and a nice sweetness to the final dish. Once they look like they're ready for an amazing French onion soup, turn off the heat and set aside. 

With your now cool to the touch eggplant, scoop out the flesh and add it to a bowl. The skins are frankly still delicious and can be eaten as is - or toss them back onto the baking sheet and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until crispy and then enjoy them like a chip. 

Add the onion-garlic mixture, Greek yogurt, and chives. Mix until incorporated. Season with additional salt & pepper if needed. Serve with pita, chips, and/or veggies and enjoy!

*Adapted from Minimalist Baker

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