An ultimate comfort food. You can eat it as a dip, appetizer, main meal, or a late night snack.
2 large eggplants
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp cushed/powdered dried mint
1 cup kashk (see notes for vegan option)
1 cup water
1 tsp turmeric
Salt+ black pepper to taste
Piaz daagh (fried onions):
Thinly slice the onions and fry in 2-3 tbsp oil on medium heat until caramelized. Turn the heat down to medium low and stir occasionally until nearly crispy. If they start to get too charred, turn down the heat. This could take 45-60 mins. You could also use other methods of frying onions such as deep frying them in oil until crispy. I’m just sharing the method my family and I have always used.
Grind the saffron in a mortar and pestle, place in a cup and pour about 1/4 cup of boiling water on it. Cover with a towel for 15 mins to brew.
Vegan kashk substitute?
This is going to sound weird but I tried Miyoko’s creamery’s vegan cream cheese and it tastes very very similar to kashk. I would love for you to try it as a vegan kashk option if you have access to it. Just mix it with hot water until you have a thick creamy consistency and use as a less salty kashk.
Start your piaz daagh and while it is happening, do the rest of the steps.
Peel the eggplants. Cut them in quarters or thick slices. Sprinkle salt on them. Let them sit in room temperature for about 15 mins. Dry them with a towel.
Blanch your eggplant slices for 2 minutes. This will help them get more golden and become less oily when fried.)
Pat the eggplant slices dry. Heat up some oil in a large non stick pan. Pan fry the eggplants on both sides until golden brown. They do NOT need to be completely cooked through since they are thick slices. We just want them to get golden brown because flavor
Place all of your eggplants in a large-ish pot. Add in the turmeric. Set aside.
Peel and mince the garlic. Once your onions are done, take out about 1/4 of them and set aside for topping. Lower the heat to medium low and add in the minced garlic. Stir until the garlic is slightly browned. About two minutes. Turn off the heat. Mix in the dried mint.
Add in the garlic-onion-mint mix into the pot of eggplants. Pour the water over them. Place on high heat until boiling then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Occasionally, uncover and mash the eggplants with a spatula. If the bottom starts to burn, stir in a little bit of water. It’s ready when eggplants are completely mushy, about 30 minutes.
At this point, you can add the kashk, black pepper, brewed saffron, and toasted walnuts. Stir everything until it sounds like . Add more kashk if you would like. Use your senses. DO NOT adjust the salt until you’ve added the kashk because kashk is very salty.
Remove the pot from heat. Adjust the salt. Garnish wsith more kashk, walnuts, fried onions, and fresh mint. Enjoy with some fresh naan !