I’d like to take all the credit for this interesting version of eggplant dip, but I can’t; it’s minimally adapted from Paul Gayler’s A Passion for Vegetables where its called Bhurtho (Smoked Eggplant Dip). From the name he gives it, I suspect Gayler was going for an Indian-style dish, yet the almonds and the lack of cumin, garam masala, or other spices set it apart.
D and I liked this dip well enough to make a meal of it with red and yellow peppers, zucchini slices, and toasted pita wedges for dipping. (E, our resident eggplant-hater, tasted it, at least, but stuck to hummus for her dipping.) We both enjoyed the spiciness of the chile and the surprise burst of flavor from the ginger; all in all, it was good for a change of pace, but it’s not going to replace my beloved baba ganoush any time soon!
Roasted Eggplant-Almond Dip
1 large eggplant
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 onion, minced
1 small chile, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
2 cloves roasted garlic
2 tablespoons plain soy yogurt
juice of half a lemon
cayenne pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 425F. Wash the eggplant and prick it all over with a fork. Place it in a pan and roast it until completely collapsed and charred-looking on top, about 45 minutes. (You can also cook it on a grill, turning regularly, until charred all over and soft.) Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Once the eggplant is cool, scoop out the flesh and put it into a medium-sized bowl. If there are lots of large seeds, separate and discard them. Mash the flesh with a fork until a coarse puree is formed.
Heat a small frying pan and add the almonds and mustard seeds. Toast them for about 2 minutes or until the seeds begin to pop. Add the onion, chile, and ginger and cook on medium for a few more minutes. Transfer to a small blender, add the garlic, lemon juice, soy yogurt, and two tablespoons of water, and puree.
Add the almond puree to the eggplant. Season to taste with cayenne and salt. Serve with raw vegetables or bread such as pitas or naan.
Makes 4 appetizer-sized servings. Per serving: 100 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat; (42% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 8mg Sodium; 4g Fiber. Weight Watchers Points: 2.