Monday, 4 March 2013

Persian Dips



There are no specific foods served for entree in the Persian cuisine.  One would think that side dishes and lighter meals in small portions should be served as entrees for a Persian mehmanee (dinner party).  There are plenty of side dishes and light meals to choose from.  For their simplicity and convenience we've made a few yogurt based side dishes that with a little adjustment can be served as a dip with lavash or plain water crackers. 


As no elaborate Persian meal is complete without yogurt, sabzi (herbs) and torshi (vinegar preserved vegetables), it'll pay off to learn a simple versatile yogurt based dip to show off your skills in a mehmani and to introduce Persian flavours to friends from other cultures.  One unusual ingredient we used here is basil mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum).  This mountainous herb is a fragrant version of mint and is a refreshing change from dried mint leaves in yogurt. 



Eggplant Borani

1 Eggplant
1 small Onion, chopped finely
3 clove Garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon Dried Mint
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 cup, Greek Yogurt
Salt and Pepper

  1. Grill a whole  eggplant on medium heat on the stove (directly on the flame), if you have a gas stove.  Otherwise, grill it on the BBQ or under an oven grill.
  2. Rotate the  eggplant every few minutes so the entire surface is black and crispy. 
  3. Place it in a bowl and cover with cling film for easy peeling.
  4. Once cool, peel it and chop it very finely on a chopping board or process until mashed in a food processor.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.



Mast-O Sersem

1 Cup Packed Basil Mint
1 Cloves Garlic
1 Cup Greek yogurt or Persian drained yogurt
Salt

  1. Roughly chop the leaves on a chopping board.
  2. Place chopped herbs and garlic in a food processor bowl and process until smooth.
  3. Mix with yogurt and season well. Chill before serving.


Spinach Borani

1 Cup  packed Spinach Leaves
1 Cup Yogurt
2 gloves of Garlic crushed
salt

  1. Cook the spinach leaves with a little water in a small saucepan.
  2. Once cooled, squeeze the water out.
  3. Roughly chop the spinach (or for a dip finely chop)
  4. Mix with yogurt and garlic. Season with salt.





Kashk -e Bademjan Dip 



1 Eggplant
1 Onion
2 gloves of  Garlic
1/2 Cup Kashk ( Persian dried yogurt)or Greek Yogurt
1 Teaspoon Dried Mint
Olive or vegetable oil 
salt and pepper


  • Grill a whole eggplant on the stove (directly on the flame), if you have a gas stove.  Otherwise, grill it on the BBQ or under an oven grill.

  • Turn the eggplant every few minutes to cook it evenly until the skin has been burnt.
  • Place it in a bowl and cover with cling film for easy peeling.Once cool, peel and roughly chop the eggplant.
  • Fry onion with little oil until golden. Add the eggplant and fry for another few minutes.
  • In a pan heat 1 table spoon oil. Add mint and remove from the heat immediately.  
  • Place eggplant mixture and garlic in a food processor bowl and process until smooth. 
  • Add the kashk and seasoning.  Mix well.
  • Drizzle the fried mint over the dip. Equally Delicious served hot or cold!

2 comments:

  1. I usually can only find dried Kashk. Do you have a recommendation for how best to rehydrate it? Should I use just water, yogurt, or both? Thank you for showing this guy a way back to my family's cooking.

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  2. I am glad you enjoy reading this blog!

    Sadly it's not the most widely available of ingredients here and we make it from fresh yoghurt.
    You can reconstitute kashk with water to get the consistency of sour cream or thick yoghurt.
    This recipe is simplified version of kashk-e bademjan and served as dip. I will post kashk-e bademjan recipe in a later post.

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