Kashk-e-Bademjoon

For those adventurous enough to try this for the first time, it is much like Baba Ghanoush, but the flavors are very different.  It’s also a bit heavier than Baba Ghanoush, but also one of my faves.

INGREDIENTS:
3 medium eggplants
2 egg whites, beaten
1/4 cup oil
3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp dried mint flakes
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

garnish:
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp dried mint, crumbled
1/2 cup liquid whey (kashk), diluted in 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 tsp ground saffron dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

DIRECTIONS:

1. Peel eggplants and cut into four lengthwise slices. Place in a colander and soak in water and 2 tbsp salt to remove bitterness. Let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry.
2. Brush the eggplant with egg white on all sides to use less oil in the frying process.
3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet and brown eggplant slices on all sides over medium heat. Drain over a paper towel.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Brown the onions and garlic in 2 tbsp oil, add turmeric and mint flakes and set aside.
6. Alternate layers of eggplant with layers of onion and garlic mixture in a long ovenproof dish. Pour 1.2 cup water over the layers, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover, and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until tender.
7. For the garnish, just before serving, lightly brown the garlic in oil. Remove skillet from heat and add mint, whey, walnuts, and saffron water. Pour over the eggplant, cover, and bake for another 15 minutes in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven.
8. When the eggplant is done, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and keep it warm until serving. Serve from the baking dish with bread, onions, chopped herbs, and (my personal favorite) grapes. Delicious!

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