I love this spread. Everything about it. Baba Ganoush is delicious, this spread's Lebanese cousin, but there is something new and perfect about this Persian eggplant spread.
Eggplant, turmeric, toasted walnuts, dried mint and caramelized onions are blitzed together with kashk to create a flavor combination to remember.
What is kashk? I have spoken about it before and it is surely delcisious. Kashk is fermented whey that has a very unique flavor. Sometimes kashk refers to dried buttermilk and often when you look up homemade kashk recipes it has you slowly cooking yogurt that has sat out overnight on a stovetop until it is caramelized and reduced.
Kashk comes in dried or liquid form. Dried is usually easier to find and is easy to reconstitute with a bit of water until it is the consistency of thin sour cream. Absolutely unable to find kashk, or unwilling, greek yogurt may be substituted.
There are also a few different types of eggplants out there. The large classic Italian eggplants have a seedier interior and are slightly bitter. That is why you sometimes see recipes calling for them to be salted and rinsed to pull out the bitter water. Japanese or Chinese eggplants are long and thin and have fewer seeds and a less bitter flesh. I think that these eggplants are perfect for this eggplant spread.
Do not be intimidated by the methodical nature of this spread!
3 each Japanese Egglants
1 small Yellow Onion
2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 heaping teaspoon Dried Mint
3 each Garlic Cloves
1 tsp Maldon Sea Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/3 cup Walnuts
2 heaping TBSP dried Kashk
1. In a cast iron skillet caramelize peeled and halved eggplants lengthwise.
2. Once the eggplants are caramelized remove them from the pan and set aside.
3. Dice onion and mince garlic. Sautee on medium until onions are transluscent and caramelized golden.
4. Season onions with turmeric, black pepper, mint and salt.
5. Add eggplant to onions with 1 cup of water and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile finely chop walnuts and add to a sautee pan to toast.
7. Take kashk and add a 1/4 cup of water to reconsitute.
8. Add kashkl and walnuts to pan and allow to simmer to thicken.
9. Using an immersion blender. Blend the spread to be homogenous yet chunky,
Serve room temperature.