Kashke Bademjan is a traditional Persian Eggplant Dip typically served in Iran as a healthy appetizer, side dish, salad or part of a meze platter with warm bread.
Roasted eggplant is added to a food processor and blitzed until smooth with creamy Greek yogurt, olive oil, and Middle Eastern spices.
This easy Kashke Bademjan recipe is often garnished with fresh mint, chopped walnuts, caramelized onions and drizzle of bloomed saffron.
Serve alongside toasted pita, crackers and a platter of freshly sliced vegetables like carrot sticks, cucumber slices and broccoli florets for a delicious vegetarian snack.
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What Is Kashke Bademjan?
Kashke Bademjan is a traditional Persian dip made with eggplant and fermented dairy like yogurt in Iran. It bears a strong resemblance to other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean eggplant dips like Baba Ganoush, Mutabal and the Greek Melitzanolosata.
The creamy dip is sometimes referenced on Persian restaurant menus as Kashk Bademjan, Kashk-e Bademjan or Kashk o Bademjan. Kashke Bademjan literally translates to “kashk and eggplant.”
Kashk is a dairy product popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, that is made from strained yogurt, drained buttermilk or drained sour milk by shaping it and letting it dry. It’s a dairy product that is creamy, tangy and is rich in umami notes, a lot like goat’s cheese and other sheep or goat products.
Bademjan means eggplant in Farsi, so basically the dish is made from the combination of these two ingredients.
The dish is served as a dip and typically garnished with liquid saffron, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, walnuts and fresh mint.
Kashke Bademjan is served warm or at room temperature whereas most eggplant dips are served cold. This simple and healthy eggplant dip makes for a great appetizer for family gatherings or dinner parties.
Travel to the Middle East by Making Kashke Bademjan at Home
I love traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.
You guessed it! Some of my fondest food memories while traveling in the Middle East feature creamy Persian Eggplant Dip!
I ate Kashke Bademjan at a traditional Moroccan riad, as a light lunch with fresh salads in Istanbul and Bodrum, accompanied by mint tea on a Nile Cruise and in bustling market in Cairo, late night snack in Amman, mid-afternoon street food at bustling markets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and at a massive Middle Eastern barbecue in the middle of the Dubai desert while belly dancers twirled under the night sky.
My Family Loves Persian Eggplant Dip
My family enjoys exploring different Middle Eastern cuisines. We’re always excited when a new Lebanese, Persian or Israeli restaurant opens in town so we can sample new regional dishes.
I wanted to share my love for Persian Eggplant Dip by preparing a homemade recipe at our family cottage in Muskoka on a hot summer day.
I knew my parents would love this Kashke Bademjan recipe because they enjoy Persian flavours, healthy vegetarian dishes and creamy dips.
Where To Eat Traditional Persian Eggplant Dip
Haven’t traveled to the Middle East or Iran before? It may be helpful to first sample Persian Eggplant Dip at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You’ll get an idea for how creamy to make the dip, what spices and herbs to incorporate into the recipe and eye-catching garnishes to sprinkle on top like chopped walnuts.
In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may serve a healthy vegetarian Kashke Bademjan recipe include Ali Baba’s, Parallel, Byblos, Tabule, Fat Pasha, Maha’s, Masrawy Kitchen, Paramount Fine Foods, Banu and Darvish.
Recipe Cooking Tips
If it’s your first time preparing Persian Eggplant Dip at home here are some helpful cooking tips.
- We roasted the eggplant in the oven on a baking sheet but you can also roast in a barbecue or over an open flame on your stove. You want the eggplant to be blackened on the outside so it’s easy to scoop out the soft flesh.
- We’ve used Spanish cooking onions in this recipe but you could substitute for sweet Vidalia onions or white onions if you prefer.
- We’ve used creamy and thick Greek Yogurt in this recipe but you can substitute with Kashk if you have a local Middle Eastern grocery store in your community. You can also use sour cream or buttermilk as a substitute.
- We’ve used fresh mint as a garnish as we prepared the dip when our herb garden was overgrown during peak summer season. Dried mint has a more intense flavour and can also be used.
- We like to use a food processor to blend the dip together but you can also use a powerful blender if you prefer.
- We like to serve this Persian Eggplant Dip with warmed pita but you can use a more traditional Iranian flatbread like Barbari Bread.
- We often garnish the dip with fresh mint and chopped walnuts but you can also drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate syrup, or liquid bloomed saffron.
- If you want to wow your guests top the dip with eye-catching toppings like caramelized onions, fried shallots or fresh sliced figs.
- If you want to make a vegan Kashke Bademjan recipe simply omit the yogurt.
Our Persian Eggplant Dip recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Eggplants are a nutrient dense food that contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fibre in few calories. It’s a good source of manganese, folate, potassium, vitamin K and C.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.
A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.
The star component of turmeric is curcumin, a potent phytochemical that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is often prescribed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve arthritis, aid digestion and inhibit the growth of cancers.
Cayenne owes its superfood status to capsaicin, an antibacterial phytochemical that supports digestive health. The pungent spice may also help improve circulation.
Packed with calcium and friendly probiotic bacteria, sour cream and yogurt help keep your bones strong and your gut healthy. Yogurt may also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Walnuts offer heart-friendly fats, immune-boosting copper, and manganese, which helps keep your brain and nerves healthy.
Fresh mint is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and can have a calming effect on the digestive system. It is also a good source of folate, which supports blood health.
What To Serve With Kashke Bademjan
We love making this easy Kashke Bademjan recipe whenever we’re serving a Persian feast or when we have friends over for a party as several bowls filled with healthy dips are always a hit.
If you’re hosting a Persian themed lunch or dinner you may want to serve a menu featuring Grilled Joojeh Kabab Persian Saffron Chicken Kebab, Adas Polo Persian Lentil Rice, Kookoo Sabzi Persian Omelet and Zeytoon Parvardeh Marinated Persian Olives.
We like to serve the dip alongside warm pita, crunchy breadsticks, and a platter of sliced vegetables like carrot sticks, broccoli florets and cucumber slices.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
If you want to freeze kashke bademjan, freeze the mixture before adding the kashk, sour cream or yogurt. Once you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the mixture, mix it with your preferred dairy and heat it in a skillet until warm.
You May Also Enjoy These Dip & Sauce Recipes…
- Creamy Vegan Garlic Lemon Dill Hummus
- Healthy Vegan Dry Roasted Salsa Mexicana
- Creamy Cheesy Greek Spanakopita Dip
- Jajik Middle Eastern Cucumber Yogurt Mint Sauce Salad Dip
- Korozott Hungarian Cottage Cheese Spread
- Healthy Vegan Mexican Pepita Pesto
- Mango Pico de Gallo Salsa
- Mashed Butter Beans Recipe
- Mutabbal Vegan Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
- Mihlama Kuymak Turkish Melted Cheese and Cornmeal
- Lebanese Toum Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce
- Za’atar Butter Bean Dip
- Tomato Chutney For Dosa
- Melitzanosalata Greek Eggplant Dip
How To Make Healthy Persian Kashke Bademjan
Kashke Bademjan Persian Eggplant Dip
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- French knife
- Food processor
- baking sheet
- 2 lb Eggplant halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- 2 Spanish Onions finely chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 6 oz Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Walnuts chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh Mint chopped
- Toasted Pita for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- On the prepared baking sheet, toss the eggplant with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and a pinch of salt to coast, then turn the halves cut-side down. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until tender. Let the eggplant halves cool slightly, then using a spoon scoop out the flesh into a food processor and discard the skins.
- While the eggplant roasts, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and caramelized, 25-30 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring continuously, until incorporated and caramelized to the colour of rust, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2 more minutes.
- Transfer the onion mixture to the food processor with the eggplant and pulse until well incorporated, keeping the mixture chunky. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.
- Transfer the dip to a bowl and top with yogurt, swirling with a spoon. Garnish with chopped walnuts and fresh mint. Serve with toasted pita.
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