28 January 2010

Nigella's Badenjan Dip

I was watching Nigella Bites the other day on Food TV and she made this dip with eggplant. I've never had much success with eggplants/aubergine so I wanted to give this a try as it looked so delicious when she made it. Nigella has the ability to make anything look quite delightfully yummy!

Badenjan Dip
3 small eggplants or enough to make 1 1/4 cups when roasted, pulped and sieved. (I actually used two large as I couldn't find small ones at the supermarket)
2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 large onion, finely diced
3 fat cloves, minced or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, to garnish
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted, to garnish
Dribble extra-virgin olive oil, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
Prick the eggplants with a fork and then put them on a baking sheet and cook for 45mins to 1hour, until soft to the touch. Allow to cool before peeling and mashing them, then leave the pulp to drain in a sieve.
Heat the 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 mixture together with the saffron in now golden water, stirring together well. Turn into a bowl and sprinkle over the mint, toasted pine nuts and a dribble of oil.

Serve with fresh pita or toasted as crisps. This makes an excellent creamy but tangy dip with all the flavours showing up and working together very well. An excellent starter for an exotic meal. The garlic and onion are strong so make sure you aren't going on a hot date afterward!

You can also find it here on the foodnetwork.com

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