Got a bumper crop of eggplants? This Eggplant Dip is an effortlessly delicious way to use them up! The eggplant gets broiled until the flesh is meltingly tender, with the slightly charred and smoky flavor you’d get from the grill. Without the whole standing outside in the heat over a grill part. Served with pita chips, this is perfect summer fare.
Eggplants Love High Heat!
Whether it’s Lebanon’s baba ganoush, Morocco’s roasted eggplant salads, or Italy’s deep fried eggplant parmesan, eggplant benefits from high heat cooking methods. The flesh is rendered so soft and silky you can eat it with a spoon, and the heat concentrates the natural sugar. So if you know someone who says ‘eggplant is bitter’, whip up this eggplant dish and change their mind!
While I’m waiting for the eggplant to cool, I make the flavor base for the dip.
Spiced Eggplant Dip
The seasonings really make this eggplant dip sing. Tomato paste and paprika add to the smoky flavor. Cinnamon and cumin add earthy warmth. Peanut butter and cilantro bring an unexpected Southeast Asian twist. I start by sautéing an onion.
Stir in the spices and cook for another minute.
I like this dip a little chunky, so I pulse it about 10 times. If you would prefer it to be completely smooth you can skip the pulsing part and just process it to a smooth paste.
If you manage to not devour all of it with some pita chips, this eggplant dip makes an excellent sandwich spread. Or serve it with some plant based dishes for a fun mix and match meatless meal. It would be wonderful served alongside:
Try this Eggplant Dip and let me know what you think. Take a moment to rate the recipe below and leave a comment. And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 2 large globe eggplants
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 medium onion chopped (or ¾ large onion)
- 2 Tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (almond would be fine too)
- 1 large handful of cilantro leaves (about ¼ bunch) chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Heat your oven on broil high or heat a cast iron skillet until very hot. Put the eggplant on a baking tray as close to the broiling element as you can and broil for about 20-25 mins, rotating a little every 5-6 mins. The eggplant should be very soft and a little charred.
- Or if using the cast iron skillet, heat the skillet for several minutes on medium high. Cook the eggplant for 5-6 minutes, then rotate the eggplant. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until very soft and charred.
- Put the eggplant in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil, the diced onion, and ½ teaspoon salt. Saute for 5-6 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, and the tomato paste. Saute for another 2-3 mins.
- Add the cumin, cinnamon, ground black pepper, and paprika. Stir the ingredients to combine them, cooking for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat.
- Trim off the end of the eggplant, cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the flesh, and add the eggplant to the food processor.
- Add the contents of the pan to the food processor plus the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, peanut butter, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Pulse the mixture approximately 10 times, until it has broken down but still a little chunky.
- If you prefer it smooth, pulse a couple more times or just turn it on for a couple seconds.
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed and serve eggplant dip with bread, crudité, or as a condiment to a large meal.
Keywords: eggplant, peanuts, cilantro, dips, southeast asian, dips, condiments