persian eggplant yogurt dip (borani e bademjan)
Persian eggplant yogurt dip (borani e bademjan) made with roasted eggplants, spices, and greek yogurt is a delicious vegetarian dish that is hearty enough to make a satisfying lunch. Eggplant is one of my favorite things to cook because it’s inexpensive, versatile, and reminds me of my childhood.
My mom is a fantastic cook. Coming home from grade school I was often greeted by visions of my mom cleaning herbs or preparing eggplant for delicious Persian dishes. Every time I lay out slices of salted eggplant I am reminded of my childhood days and how hard my mom worked to prepared beautiful, nurturing meals for her family.
Mamman taught me to always salt my eggplant before it cooks. Adding salt to slices of raw, peeled eggplant draws out any bitterness that may be present. Ridding the eggplant of excess moisture helps me cook the eggplant with less oil. If you’ve ever cooked eggplant you know it’s a very thirsty ingredient. You can add glugs of oil to the pan only to have the eggplant completely absorb every drop. There are many ways to prepare eggplant for borani e bademjoon but I prefer to roast the vegetable until it is soft and sweet.
Eggplant requires a long roasting time and will need to be in the oven for almost a full hour until it is completely soft and delicious. This a great make-ahead meal because the eggplant flavors significantly improve when they sit overnight.
- 2 large eggplant*, peeled and sliced
- Olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup water
- 7 ounces lowfat greek yogurt
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
- Peel the eggplant and slice into thick slices and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt.
- Lay the salted eggplant on the paper towels and allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes until moisture starts to bead on the surface of the eggplant.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- After 30 minutes, pat the eggplant dry with paper towels and lay them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Drizzle olive oil over the eggplant slices and bake until browned and completely soft, 45-50 minutes. A fork should easily pierce the eggplant slices without any resistance.
- While the eggplant is roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and softened, 8-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, turmeric, and cumin to the onions and cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste turns brick red, about 5 minutes.
- Add the roasted eggplant and water to the onions and simmer until thickened, breaking up the eggplant with a wooden spoon while it cooks.
- Once most of the water has evaporated and the eggplant has broken down, turn off the heat and cool slightly.
- Mix the yogurt in with the eggplant mixture and serve chilled or at room temperature with pita chips, crackers, or as a spread for sandwiches.
*I use American Globe eggplants but if you use a smaller variety feel free to increase this to 3-4 eggplants
This can be served right away but it tastes much better if you chill it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Prep Time:45 minutes
- Cook Time:90 minutes inactive cook time
Keywords: persian eggplant yogurt dip recipe, borani e bademjoon recipe