Borani-e Bâdenjân - Onion and eggplant dip from Persia
2 large aubergines (each about 300 g)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
125 g strained yogurt
pinch saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon water
50 g walnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Prick the eggplants in several places and place under a hot grill. Grill for about 30–40 minutes, turning them halfway through, until the skin is charred and the flesh is very soft. Cut the grilled eggplant in half. Scoop out the flesh and place in a colander for about 20 minutes to let the excess liquid drain. With a fork or potato masher, mash the eggplant.
2. Put the olive oil and onion in a frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Cook until the onion is lightly golden (a little darker than in the image above). Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so. Add the mashed eggplant to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Add the strained yogurt and mix well. Transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with the saffron water and sprinkle the chopped walnuts all over. Serve with Persian bread.