Dip, dip ,dip!
Sometimes, you just want something light to nibble for dinner. While I’ve labelled this recipe under Party Starters, you need not necessarily have a party to enjoy this kind of finger food. This is perfect stuff to share with your partner while watching your favourite movie on a Friday evening.
My evening menu this Friday was oven baked roti chips, plenty of them to dip into an oven roasted eggplant dip called the Badenjan dip and a red kidney bean dip. The Badenjan dip is quite different in preparation and taste, from the Baba Gannoujwhich I’ve shared earlier with you.
While it may sound light, it is quite filling as the components are the same as any other Indian meal – Chips (roti), Eggplant dip (Vegetable) and Kidney bean dip (Dal / Lentils). This can be served with a salad like Fattoushand you have a complete meal.
For a party, I’d highly recommend Nigella’s own spread for exotic evenings from her book Feast – Pita chips with Eggplant dip, Red bean dip, Fattoush, a Bulghur salad and the tiny lamb meatballs. You can get recipes for the entire exotic menu from her Nigella Feats show.
Eggplant goes exotic!
Badenjan Dip / Roasted eggplant dip with pine-nuts and mint
Category – Dip for toasted pita chips or pita bread, Party starter
Serves – 4
Time taken – 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how you roast the eggplant
Source – Nigella Feasts
Eggplant dip and Red Bean dip - Party starters
- 1 eggplant large roasting (make about 1 1/4 cups when roasted, pulped and sieved)
- 2 tbsps olive oil (not extra-virgin)
- 1 onion large , finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced or grated
- Salt black pepper and freshly ground
- 1 cup Greek yogurt homemade /
- 1/4 tsp saffron threads
- water soaked in (2 tbsp) warm
- 2 tbsps mint chopped fresh , to garnish
- 2 tbsps pine nuts , toasted , to garnish
- Roasting the eggplant - You could do this in a broiler or direct on the flame.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Dribble extra-virgin olive oil, to garnish. Prick the eggplants with a fork and put them on a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft to the touch.
- Allow to cool before peeling and mashing them, then leave the pulp in a sieve to drain.
- Alternately prick the eggplant and keep it on a medium flame. Rotate at intervals so that the whole exterior is charred and interior is pulpy. This will take roughly 10-15 minutes.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until golden and then add the drained eggplant mush, cooking it with the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes over a gentle heat, stirring frequently.
- Take off the heat and turn into a bowl to cool and season with salt and pepper. Add the yogurt to the cooled eggplant mixture together with the saffron in the now golden water, stirring together well. Turn into a bowl and sprinkle over the mint, toasted pine nuts, and a dribble of oil.