Indian Tomato-Eggplant Dip
Friends couldn’t stop eating this dip when I served 4 with cocktails before a dinner party. I have to agree—it is completely addictive. This sultry dip reminds me of the complex spicing I encountered during a culinary tour of India. The ingredients meld into a coarse but velvety, deeply burnished purée with tiny flecks of green from the cilantro/fresh coriander. It does not taste strongly of either tomato or eggplant/aubergine, but rather a lovely blending of these fruits. Honestly, you can hover over this dip, because it is low in calories and nearly fat free.
Dip Do-Ahead: This dip can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before serving. Serve the dip at room temperature.
Cooking Methodroasting, sauteeing
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCocktail Party, Family Get-together, game day
Recipe Courseantipasto/mezze, hors d'oeuvre
Dietary Considerationantipasto/mezze, hors d'oeuvre
Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, light, spiced, tangy
Type of Dishdip/spread
- 1 eggplant/aubergine (about 1¼ Ib/570 g), halved lengthwise
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup (135 g) finely minced walla walla or other sweet onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- ¾ cup (145 g) finely chopped plum tomatoes
- 2 tsp tomato paste/tomato purée
- 2 to 3 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp kosher or sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp finely minced cilantro/fresh coriander leaves
- ¼ cup/60 ml water
- I tbsp low-fat plain yogurt
- Roasted cauliflower, crudités, baked pita chips, crostini, bruschetta, baked potato chips
Preheat the oven to 500°F/260°C/gas 10. Arrange the eggplant/aubergine halves, flesh-side down, on a rimmed baking sheet/tray. Roast until very soft and tender when the flesh is pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Using a paring knife, peel back the skin and discard. Transfer the cooked flesh to a cutting board and finely chop.
In a 10-in (25-cm) frying pan, preferably nonstick, heat the oil over medium heat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion and sauté until soft but not brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste/tomato purée. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, salt, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Sauté to incorporate the spices, 1 minute longer. Add the roasted eggplant/aubergine and sauté, stirring constantly, until the mixture is well combined, about 2 minutes. Adjust the heat to medium-low and gently stir in 1 tbsp of the cilantro/fresh coriander and the water and yogurt. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened and a good dipping consistency, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining 1 tbsp cilantro/fresh coriander, and serve immediately.
2010 Diane Morgan