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aubergine & kashk

Having prepared this recipe, or a few others before, definitely does not qualify me as an expert in Persian cuisine. However, i can call myself, with much confidence, a big fan of this beautiful cuisine. The rich and diverse ingredients tell the story of the historically and culturally enchanting times the Persian cuisine must have gone through and i’m  looking forward for more adventures preparing other recipes in the near future (i’ve already got a short list of the food that i would like to try).

Kashk is a type of a traditionally sun-dried yogurt used in the Persian cuisine as well in other ones, sometimes with a different name. And when i first came across this aubergine and kashk recipe, the sound of it reminded me a lot of a beautiful appetiser dish that we used to love eating at a small Turkish restaurant back in Dubai. So i was intrigued to try this one out. And not only this recipe did not disappoint, it simply exceeded my expectations for it is so delicious that i can’t even wait to prepare it again real soon. And i can tell you that i’m so happy to share it with you today, and i do hope that you will give it a try.

It is just worth noting that, being me, i lightly modified the ingredients and method of preparation from the ones in the original recipe in a way that made more sense to me, but i kept the original spirit and the great taste of the dish untouched.

Recipes

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion (about 170), chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1 medium aubergine (about 500 g), chopped into small cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground dried mint
1 tbsp good quality pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup kashk
a few thread of saffron

for garnish:
40 g walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
1 tsp ground dried mint

Preparation:

  • Soak the saffron threads in a tablespoon of hot water. Preheat oven to 190ºC.
  • Place a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Then once hot enough, add the chopped onion and garlics. Stir for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped aubergine. Stirring frequently, sauté the aubergine chops for about 5 – 7 minutes, or till they become softer and change in colour.
  • Add the salt, pepper, turmeric, dried mint, molasses and stir well. Remove from heat and pour the aubergine mixture onto a medium-size deep baking dish.
  • Mix the kashk with about 1/2 cup water making sure you get a smooth liquid. Pour the kashk over the aubergine. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Carefully remove dish from oven and sprinkle the saffron water over the kashk. Then return it back into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes further. Remove from oven, sprinkle with dried mint and serve the roasted walnuts along for some extra richness.
  • This dish is best served right away, hot and delicious…enjoy!Bon Appétit!

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