Roasted Aubergine Delight
This is another life-changing recipe to share with you readers (I only give you the good ones!). I cannot believe that something with so few ingredients can taste this good. I first ate it at the home of a lovely Pakistani woman who served it as a raita as part of a vegetarian dinner feast. One bite and I knew at once I would be recreating it at home.
We eat it like that, as a cooling addition to a spicy meal. Or as part of a Middle Eastern-inspired spread. Or on sandwiches. Or with roasted vegetables. Or as a dip for pizza crusts. Or as a dip for almost anything! I like all the ingredients of this dip individually, but together they really, really, sing. This will keep for at least a week in the fridge, maybe more. This could be made vegan with the use of soy yoghurt or similar.
Makes enough to accompany several meals
- 200g aubergine puree (see recipe below)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced, or to taste
- 150g Greek/Turkish yoghurt*
- 1/2 tsp cumin, freshly ground, or to taste
- 1-2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 2 drops smoke oil (optional), or to taste
Blend fresh or defrosted aubergine puree with the yoghurt, then taste it. I have included general seasoning amounts about, but you should add the rest of the ingredients to taste as it will depend on your aubergines and your personal preferences. In general, I would be heavy-handed with the salt and lemon juice, but add only a little cumin and even less smoke oil. When it is finished the mix should be wonderfully savoury and tart, with aftertastes of cumin and a little smoke. It should not actively taste salty, but should have enough seasoning to really bring out all the flavours. This can only be achieved with judicious use of salt.
* I have tried making this with regular fluid yogurt, both low-fat and full-fat, but it really isn’t the same. They makes the whole thing too watery, so it really does require one of the semi-solid, high fat yoghurts.
This is a great thing to have on hand. It has many, many uses. I use it primarily to make this dip because it is so unbelievably scrumptious, but I have also enjoyed it mixed into Thai and Indian sauces, dolloped onto pizza (or as a pizza sauce) and made into the almost equally delicious, babaganoush, to name but a few tasty applications.
- aubergines, as many as you have
- salt, to taste
- lemon juice, freshly squeezed, to taste
Prick whole aubergines all over (to stop them exploding!) and roast on 180c for about an hour. Whole aubergines are very flexible in the oven – you can cook them on a lower or higher temperature for a shorter or longer time. I have completely forgotten about them for hours and although they were somewhat shrivelled, they were still perfectly edible. I have it on good authority that they are even better when cooked over a lovely, smoky barbecue, but living in a flat I have not had the opportunity to test this and use smoke oil instead, as described above.
Puree in a food processor, then add enough salt and fresh lemon juice for it to take on some taste. It will still be a little bland but you can adjust it as necessary when you use it in future applications. Portion it up as you think necessary (I put about 200g in individual freezer bags) and freeze. It will keep, well packaged, for several months.