Our Persian friend recently gave us an eggplant recipe, along with a jar of Kashk – fermented whey.

Kashk (Persian), keshk, kishk, or kishik is a large family of foods found in Iranian, Kurdish, and Arab cuisine.

In modern Iran, kashk is a thick whitish liquid similar to whey (a dairy product) similar to sour cream, used in traditional Persian/Iranian cooking. It is available as a liquid or in a dried form, which needs to be soaked and softened before it can be used in cooking. Kashk was traditionally produced from the leftovers of cheese-making (more specifically, the milk used to make it).
Traditional dishes containing kashk include “Kashk-e Bademjan” (a dish of grilled aubergines mixed with kashk) , “aash-e reshteh” (a noodle broth with various pulses), “halim bademjan” *(similar to kashk-e bademjan, but with minced meat) and “aash-e kashk” (a broth). (Wikipedia)

Kashk is available at Persian or Arab stores in creamy or powdered form. Sour cream may be used as a substitute, but it really cannot match the complex fermented flavour.

Bademjan / Baadenjaan = eggplant / aubergine / brinjal.

There are many variations to this recipe in terms of ingredients, spelling and pronunciation.

Kashk-e- Bademjan HERE and HERE

Kashk-e-Baadenjaan

Kashk-O-Bademjan or simply ‘Kashk Bademjan’.

All the recipes have four main ingredients – eggplants, mint, caramelised onions and kashk. Depending on individual preferences and which part of Iran the cook comes from, it may also have garlic, tomato paste, and in our friend’s case, walnuts. It is usually eaten with a flatbread like lavash, taftoon or pita.

Don’t hesitate to make this even without kashk. It is delicious drizzled with plain yogurt/sour cream or on its own.

Ours had all of the above except tomato paste. Since tomatoes and eggplants complement each other so well, we will be adding it the next time. Hence, we’ve included it in the ingredient list.

KASHK E BADEMJAN with rye crackers

We like to use long, slender Japanese eggplants for this. They are sweeter and have fewer seeds than the other varieties.

Makes about 1.5 cups

Skin
3 Japanese eggplants

and cut into thick pieces (about 1 inch cubes) – 5 to 6 cups. Soak in warm salty water (to remove/reduce bitterness) for a few minutes.

Dry the eggplants and toss it in a saute pan with
2 tbsp olive oil.
Brown lightly. Stir a bit, add couple tsp of oil, and brown a bit more.

Add a teeny bit of water, stir and add some salt and pepper and scrape browned eggplant from the bottom of the pan, and cook until its soft and mushy.

Peel and chop
a medium onion (1.5 cups) and
3 to 4 garlic cloves

and saute in
2 tbsp olive oil. Brown the onions until richly caramelised on a medium flame.

Lightly toast
1/2 cup walnuts

for 30 to 40 seconds on HIGH in the microwave and chop them.

Add
the walnuts and
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint or 1.5 tbsp dried mint
2 tbsp concentrated tomato paste (optional)

to the onion-garlic mixture and saute a bit more. Add this to the eggplant.

Chop some more mint and garnish.

Drizzle some kashk on top or drown it in kashk – whatever floats your boat. If the kashk is too thick, dilute it in a bit of water. Grab your favorite flatbread, scoop and enjoy!

We ate some with rye crackers. We spread the rest of the eggplant mixture on a pizza base and topped it it with roasted zucchini. Bake for 10 minutes at 550 F. Then drizzle kashk on top. Highly recommended.

This is our entry for Fresh Produce of the Month: Eggplants hosted by Simona @ briciole.

- Jai

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32 Comments

  1. Mamatha says:

    This recipe comes at a perfect time. I’m planning to make Madhur Jaffrey’s Lubia Polo (from Nupur’s blog – an excellent recipe, btw) for friends this weekend and wanted a Persian vegetarian side to go with it. I guess this dish can double as a side too. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I love, love, love kashk e bademjan. My husband is Persian and I often wonder why Persian cuisine is not better known. It is sooo tasty. And the bademjan dishes are my very favorites! Thanks for posting this recipe! Now, if only I could get my hands on some kashk…

  3. musical says:

    Great! This is such a treat for eggplant lovers!

  4. Cham says:

    I can imagine the pizza with the eggplant spread! Very simple and tasty recipe :)

  5. sunita says:

    What a wonderful recipe…simply adore eggplants.

  6. I love the mild sweetness and tender flesh of Japanese eggplants. They must be so delicious in the recipe. How I’d love to try it.

  7. Divya says:

    Great recipe..Have some eggplants in my fridge.Thanks for the recipe..

  8. Meeta says:

    lovely! i just love the purity and simplicity! perfection!

  9. Peter G says:

    I love this recipe using eggplants. I think it’s time to explore some other Persian specialties.

  10. Oh, I have had this but ages ago. I adore eggplant. P.S. used your appa skillet plan to fry picnic balls. thanks for the idea.

  11. nags says:

    i am an eggplant lover but haven’t even tried the basic regional recipes yet! maybe i will just jump to yours :)

  12. Nirmala says:

    It looks more like the kathrika gothsu we make. For the sourness we used to add tamarind. Cannot imagine the taste of kashk !

  13. arundathi says:

    very nice – i love eggplant spreads – just posted about one actually! coincidence!

  14. Jyothsna says:

    Not an eggplant fan, but like these spreads.

  15. amar says:

    very nice presentation.

  16. sushma says:

    Very nice and new recipe wth eggplants.. sounds great! thank you for sharing

  17. A&N says:

    Oh, I’ve tried this! So good :) I tried it with regular eggplants though. I think I will go Jap the next time ;)

  18. richa says:

    loved the addn of walnuts :)

  19. sagari says:

    Love the recipe ,looks deleciouss

  20. Simona says:

    What a great recipe! I have never heard of kashk, so, as usual, I am learning something by reading your delightful posts. Thank you so much for participating.

  21. Alexa says:

    I have Persian cookbooks and I love all the recipes I have tried. This eggplant spread looks delicious. I have never tasted kashk. I’ll have to see if I can find it. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  22. sonia says:

    Yay! For the first time I do not have to make do with just drooling at your pictures enviously. My mother is visiting me and she made it yesterday. I love kashk even though they say that its not too good for you (I do not know the reason why). My mother garnishes it some crispy caramelized onions and a little amount of mint sauteed in hot olive oil for a few seconds and kashk. The minty oil really makes a remarkable difference.

    Thank you for sharing so many wonderful recipes and your thoughtful and funny opinions!

  23. nina says:

    If I make an egg plant dip, even those who hate eggplant sometimes double dip……I love this crunchier eggplant dish! Lovely photos as always.

  24. Aparna says:

    I just learnt something new today. And I like the sound of it.

  25. Pelicano says:

    I see you snuck another pizza in there…besides the eggplant-tomato affinity, there is the tomato-mint affinity too; this looks like nothing but just-short-of-bliss- nice discovery!

  26. farida says:

    I absolutely love kashke-badimjan. My Persian friends make this often at their parties and I can’t stop eating this when I am invited:) Thank you for the recipe!

  27. Jude says:

    Another beautifully photographed and informative post. I am so intrigued in trying this fermented stuff… Good thing we have a lot of well-stocked middle eastern groceries in Chicago.

  28. Sweatha J says:

    Great Recipe,will try it.

  29. goli says:

    thanks very much it was very helpful

  30. [...] figure out the delicious, predominant spice that made it so distinctive. Add in the lamb kebobs, kashk badamjoon, and barberry and saffron rice that we ordered and we could barely fathom dessert.  We’ll at [...]

  31. [...] figure out the delicious, predominant spice that made it so distinctive. Add in the lamb kebobs, kashk badamjoon, and barberry and saffron rice that we ordered and we could barely fathom dessert.  We’ll at [...]

  32. laleh says:

    Thank you for sharing so many wonderful recipes
    i love kashk !



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