I could start this post with a list of excuses on why I have not posted…but they all come down to two very simple reasons: a major case of writer’s block which has been intencified by the heat. While we live in a beach city, we don’t really get an ocean breeze around here. What we get is heat, unbearable heat. Just in case you are wondering, no we don’t have air conditioning…because we live in a beach city and people don’t have air conditioning in beach cities because you are “supposed” to get the ocean breeze…Summer months get pretty insane. We try to escape the heat anyway we can, and for the past month or so The Dog and I have been taking weekly trips to the doggie beach to cool down. As I type this, it is precisely 9:33pm and the temperature inside our house is a whopping 87°F, even with all windows and doors open. Thank God it is September which means one more month of hell and then we go back to normal temperatures until next July.
Enough of this hot weather. Let me introduce to you Borani Bedemjan. I simply love this dip, not only it is really easy to make, but it is also very healthy. I personally LOVE eggplants, or if you are fancy, aubergine. I love eggplants so much that I even own a cookbook solely dedicated to eggplants. A few years ago, my dear friend Kumar and I where at a book fair and I found “The Eggplant Cookbook.” Now, how excited was I about this little found treasure? VERY excited!
Interestingly, Kashkeh Bademjan, the other eggpland dip that I posted a few months ago, happens to be one of the most viewed posts on this blog. I wonder if this one is going to be just as popular with you readers. I thought this would be a perfect time to post this in light of the Labor Day Weekend, in case any of you want to make this dip for a gathering!
Just out of curiosity, did you know that eggplant is actually a fruit? I found out this enlightening information courtesy of Bobby Flay. Amazing what you learn from the internet.
1 medium red onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 cup of yogurt (preferably Persian yogurt)
1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp dried mint
salt & pepper
Wash and dry eggplants. Place them on the grill. I should make you aware of a little learning lesson. I did a bit of research because I did not know if I should have made small holes in the eggplant or not. Some recipes say yes, others say no, and more recipes don’t even say anything about it. So I did what I know best: experiment. I decided to leave one eggplant alone while I made some holes in the other with a fork. It turns out that the eggplants should be left untouched.
While the eggplants are on the grill just stay close and keep an eye on them. Here is the apple of my eye hanging out with me. We patiently waited together….
About every five minutes turn the eggplants so that all sides cook evenly.
You will notice that the eggplant in the foreground is nice and wrinkled and it is soft to touch. This means that it is ready. The cooking process should take about 20 minutes. The other eggplant in the background with the fork marks, on the other hand, took twice as long and it wasn’t even cooked as well as the other. Scientifically, it totally makes sense.
Place the eggplants in a brown bags and close it so that it will steam. This will make the peeling process much much easier.
You may want to place the bag with the eggplants in it on a plate. I almost lost mine as the bottom of the bag broke because of juices. Fortunately, I caught the eggplants before they hit the pavement. As you can see, I managed to make a mess, what a shocker!!!
Once you are done with grilling, sauté the onion and garlic until golden.
Peel the eggplants and remove excess seeds.
Place eggplant flesh in a mixing bowl, add 3/4 of the golden onion/ garlic mixture, 1/4 tsp of dry mint, and season with salt and pepper.
Mix well together.
Using a hand blender, blend until smooth.
Add yogurt and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover and place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Continue sautéing the 1/4 onion left over with 1/2 tsp of mint until their color deepens.
When ready to serve, place the dip in a bowl and top with the 1/4 onion mixture. Serve with Pita Chips, pita slices, or lavash bread. If you are going to make this dip the same day that you will eat it, I suggest not putting the onion mixture in the fridge. I find that it tastes better when it is at room temperature instead of cold. Additionally, because of the amount of spent sauteing, it will turn slightly crispy. If refrigerated it will lose its crispiness. But that is just my personal preference.