Roasted Eggplant Yogurt Dip

April 8, 2019

As a kid, I remember being really fascinated with how my Dad could take a big, sturdy purple eggplant and turn it into a silky, sweet yet savory and nutty vegetable. Sometimes this transformation involved roasting the eggplant in the oven and peeling off the purple skin. This revealed the eggplant’s slowly roasted, silky tendons.

I have to confess that to this day, when I go to the grocery store, if I see a good looking eggplant, I cannot resist putting it into my cart. And forget about it if it is Chinese Eggplant. Then I’m hauling way more of those home than we can eat (because they shrink when you cook them…so I need a lot).

I came home with two big sturdy Italian eggplants – one for a soup (cubed and crisped up and dunked into tomato soup) and one that I was going to roast for something Indian.

And then I read this Hungry Desi post from March 2010 about Eggplant Barbeque. Eggplant Barbeque was a frequent eggplant dish in our house and favorite of my Dad’s. When he told me the recipe by phone back in 2010, he also mentioned that it had been his dad’s favorite dish.

I never knew it was one of his father’s favorite foods until now.  Certain foods remind me of a place, a trip, a special occasion…but I’ve never had a food associated with such a significant memory – that of a loved one who is no longer with me.  It makes me wonder what my dad thought of each time he made Eggplant Barbeque for us.  Was he thinking about his father?  If so, he never let on.

I remembered a roasted eggplant yogurt that my Dad also used to make often. It’s simple – creamy, sweet, savory with little nuggets of crispy urad daal and mustard seeds. This was one of those eggplant dishes that my Dad made which mystified me. I mean how does a big, solid purple eggplant turn into this silky, smooth yogurt dip?

And so, of course, I used my haul of eggplant that day to make my Dad’s Roasted Eggplant Yogurt. I don’t remember him teaching me how to make it, but fortunately my Mom gave me a quick recipe.

This Roasted Eggplant Yogurt is mild, sweet and savory. It is served cool and pairs well with any other Indian curries or just mixed with rice and a side of Indian pickle.

I’d also serve it in a heartbeat with toasted crostini or pita as an appetizer. 

Roasted Eggplant Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 Italian Eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad daal
  • 1 teaspoon channa daal (optional)
  • 3-4 curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 green chilis
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • Chili Pepper and Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rub oil on the eggplant. Prick it with a fork or knife in a few places. Wrap it aluminum foil and put it in the oven for about 30-45 minutes until eggplant is soft and looks deflated. Allow to cool.
  3. Once eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the insides and peel off the skin. Discard the skin.
  4. Using a fork or your hands, mash the eggplant until very smooth.
  5. In a wide skillet, heat cooking oil on medium low heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook 1-2 minutes until they begin popping.
  6. Add the urad daal and channa daal and curry leaves if using. Cook until the daals are slightly golden being careful not to burn.
  7. Add the green chilis and eggplant and mix well.
  8. Cook another 4-5 minutes.
  9. Add salt to taste (about 1-2 teaspoons).
  10. Once the eggplant mixture has cooled down, mix it in with the yogurt. Add more yogurt if consistency is too thick (although it should be thick and equal parts eggplant and yogurt).
  11. Sprinkle with red chili pepper and cilantro for garnish (optional).

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Leave a Comment

Previous post: