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In the Kitchen with Mari

Persian Eggplant & Yogurt Dip


I enjoy the simplicity and speed of preparing this Iranian appetizer, which I got the recipe from a book called “Cuisine de Perse” (The Cooking of Iran) by Neda Afrashi

We love Iranian food. It is slow food. Unlike some cuisines, which rely on fat and/or spices to add flare, Iranian food is almost non-fat, and not spicy, and yet requires needs attention and time for cooking. Kent, in particular, enjoys the crusty rice. Kent loves the crusty rice dish, which often accompanies a meal. Luckily for us, we have many good Iranian friends in both Paris and in San Francisco and have enjoyed many delicious meals in their homes.

This is why, for the fist time in my life, I dedicated two days to a cooking project – an Iranian banquet.

Ingredients:

Small eggplants – 3 or 4, around 1 pound

Greek Yoghurt - about 10 ounces

Garlic – 5 cloves (the fresher the garlic, the better the taste)

Method:

Preheat Oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius)

Wash and dry the eggplants, make a few holes using a fork or chopstick.

Grill the eggplant in the broiler or over a flame, turning every few minutes until tender inside (the skin darkens)

Take eggplant from the oven, let it cool and peel the skin

Squeeze in a bowl; mix with yogurt until it becomes creamy.

Peel and crush the garlic and mix it into the eggplant and yogurt.

Let it sit for at least 1 hour or, if possible, one day for the flavors to develop.

Serve with fresh Iranian Bread

(I suggest not having an important meeting after eating this dish, as the raw garlic is strong, but delicious!)


Enjoy!