In Persian households this is made every morning ready for lunch – the sound of the chopping of walnuts and parsley for the topping echoes throughout Persian neighbourhoods. The salty kashk cheese is a fermented by-product from cheese making and is available from Middle Eastern grocery stores. With its strong flavour it resembles a liquid feta cheese and is lovely in this recipe mixed with the golden eggplant and dried mint.
- olive oil
- 4 eggplants, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 heaped tsp turmeric
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 2 tbsp kashk
- salt and pepper
- chopped walnuts
- chopped flat-leaf parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes 3–4 cups
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan until really hot, then fry the eggplant until soft and golden. Drain on paper towel. Add the onion with a little more oil to the pan and fry until translucent, then stir in the turmeric. Push the onion to one side and add the garlic. Fry until fragrant then push to another side of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, add the mint and fry briefly in the remaining heat.
Put the eggplant in a bowl and mash.
Heat a little more oil in a saucepan and add the eggplant, kashk, most of the onion, garlic and mint (reserve some for garnish), and salt and pepper. Warm the ingredients through and combine. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with the remaining onion, garlic and mint. Sprinkle with walnuts and parsley and serve warm.