Also known as Kashk-e Bademjan, this Persian eggplant dip is loaded, festive and a total crowd-pleaser! Garnished with caramelized onions, saffron, garlic and walnuts, this flavour bomb is the dish you need to celebrate Nowruz, or any special occasion this year. Check out the recipe.
You might have tasted Baba Ganoush, and you might even have tasted Mutabal—both eggplant dip varieties from the Mediterranean and Middle-East regions, collectively known as the Levant—but unless you’ve tasted Kash Bademjan, your experience is truly incomplete. Also known as Kashk-e Bademjan, this eggplant dip originates in Persia, and has now transcended borders to become a global favourite. Today, Kashk Bademjan is served in Iranian-origin homes to celebrate special occasions like Nowruz.
In 2023, Nowruz falls on March 21, but the celebrations for the Iranian New Year would be incomplete without Kashk Bademjan. In Persian, Bademjan literally translates to eggplant, and Kashk refers to sour yoghurt or sundried buttermilk. Kashk Bademjan is therefore a vegetarian appetizer made with eggplant, walnuts, garlic, onions, Kashk and saffron. Because it is so superbly loaded, Kashk Bademjan is transformed from a simple dip to a starter of almost royal proportions—making it the perfect dish not only for Nowruz but also any party you throw.
Legend has it that Kashk Bademjan originally comes from the Isfahan area of Iran. The special secret ingredient behind the dish is, of course, the Kashk. This yoghurt was traditionally dried in the sun and rolled into balls. The tangy tasting dry Kashk balls were prepared organically in villages but are now produced mechanically in Iran. While Kashk might be difficult to get that easily in India, many recipes simply replace it with sour hung curd—an easily available ingredient in our nation that resonates the flavours of Kashk to a large extent. You could also try replacing Kashk with sour cream, and vegans can skip the ingredient altogether if needed.
With all its beautiful garnishes, Kashk Bademjan looks inviting and delicious. You can easily pair this dip with pita bread or lavaash. If you want to celebrate Nowruz or any other day with this delicious dip, then here’s an easy Kashk Bademjan recipe you can try at home.
1 onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
4 tbsp Kashk/hung curd/sour cream
½ cup walnutes, chopped
3 tbsp caramelized onions
½ tsp saffron, soaked in water
Salt, to taste
1. Slice the eggplants into half, lengthways, make slits, drizzle olive oil and roast in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
2. Once the eggplants are properly roasted, transfer them onto a wire rack and let them cool. Then scoop out all the eggplant flesh and set aside.
3. Heat some olive oil in a pan, then add the onions, garlic, turmeric powder and salt.
4. Saute until this mix turns golden brown, then add the eggplant flesh, water, saffron water, chopped walnuts and mix well.
5. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes until the dip comes together in a thick consistency.
6. Now, add the hung curd and mix well. The dip should be creamy now.
7. Transfer the dip into a serving platter and top with caramelized onions, extra hung curd and walnuts, and serve with pita bread or lavaash.