I have fond memories with my grandma, stuffing eggplant with tomato and peppers to make the classic Armenian dish, Imom Bayeldi. This Moroccan dish is very similar to our Armenian recipe, but it gets boosted with a few more spices. The result is a delicious, warm spice version that makes for a great dip. The wonderful thing is that this recipe is fully vegan without messing around with it. It fills you up and the smoky eggplant flavor makes you feel like you’re out in an open fire enjoying your garden.
The trick with this dish is to not be afraid to fully blacken your eggplant. It needs to be fully blackened to cook through and soften the skin. For bigger eggplants, it needs extra time to cook as well. Smaller eggplants will do just fine with a roast. If you can, roast them over charcoal for the best flavor. But, doing it over a gas fire works fine too.
Enjoy this dip with a last finishing of lemon and fresh herbs to brighten the smoky flavors. Maybe even a side of tzaziki or other yogurt dip would pair well too.
For more recipes and stories, check out my new cookbook “Stories from Morocco: a food and travel memoir” now available through Kindle.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 1 large eggplant
- 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Roast eggplant 10-15 minutes over an open fire until fully blackened. Then, place in a plastic bag or cover in bowl with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.
- When cool to touch, peel eggplant and discard blackened skin. Chop the flesh in chunks.
- In a medium saucepan, place eggplant, tomatoes and remaining ingredients.
- Cook for 20 minutes over a low heat until eggplant is very soft and breaks apart easily.
Serve warm or cold. Drizzle a little olive oil on top before serving and garnish with fresh parsley or dill. Serve with bread as a dip or accompaniment to tagine.
|Blackening the eggplant|