Kashke Bademjan is a simple Persian eggplant dip that is made with a handful of ingredients. This tasty vegetarian dip is full of amazing flavors and is the perfect appetizer for any table!
Some might think that Persian recipes could be intimidating but it’s important to know that there are so many Persian recipes that are simple and easy to make. Some easy Persian recipes are Persian eggplant and tomatoes, Persian eggplant soup and one pot tomato rice. Today’s recipe, kashke bademjan, is one of the easiest yet tastiest Iranian recipes out there made with eggplants.
Have you ever had that dish that makes you go, “I seriously don’t know what it is about this dish, but I want to have it for the rest of my life?” Kashke bademjan is that dish for many people out there. You might have had it at a friend’s home, or at a Persian restaurant, or probably at a potluck. I’m sure that if you’ve had it, you’ve most definitely loved it, and have thought of making it yourself, so here is a full guide and step by step recipe to make this delicious Persian appetizer.
What is Kashke Bademjan?
Kashke bademjan, also called kashko bademjan, is the Persian name of a Persian eggplant dip. Kashk means yogurt whey, a dairy product made of drained yogurt which has a salty and tangy flavor, and Bademjan means eggplant. This dish is basically made of the combination of these two ingredients.
What is kashk?
Yogurt whey or kashk comes in dry or liquid form. The dry form can be round, strings or powder and can be kept in a cool, dry place. To use prepare dry kashk to use, place some in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Wait for some minutes and then stir until it’s dissolved in water. The liquid form on the other hand should be kept in the fridge and can be used directly in a recipe. I personally prefer dry kashk as it makes it easier to adjust its flavor and consistency. You can find kashk in Persian/Middle Eastern shops (usually in the refrigerator) or online.
How to make Kashke Bademajn
This Persian eggplant dip can be made in many different ways. The very basic kashk bademjan recipe calls for eggplants, onion, garlic and kashk. The first and more traditional method of making kashke bademjan is to fry the eggplants, onion and garlic separately until they’re golden brown. Then, mash the eggplants really well and mix with onion and garlic and kashk. Pretty easy and simple but this method calls for more oil as eggplants absorb fat so much.
To minimize the use of oil, you can either bake the eggplants and proceed with the recipe, or you can use a stove top method as follows. Start with browning the peeled and halved eggplants in a pan, transfer them to a plate, and, in the same pan, saute some onion and garlic. Put the eggplants back in the pan and add turmeric and black pepper. Stir and mix well. Add in some water, then cover and cook for about ten to fifteen minutes until the eggplants are fully cooked. Mash the eggplants and onion mixture well.
Next, add the kashk, bloomed saffron and some dried mint to the dish, stir well and cook over medium heat for about five to ten minutes. This would help the flavors combine better.
At this point, kashke bademjoon is ready to serve. I always like to go ahead and add some sauteed dried mint on top with some extra kashk and chopped walnuts for extra crunch and texture. You can also add some more caramelized onion on the top.
What makes Kashke Bademjan different than other eggplant dip recipes?
Kashke bademjan is served warm or at room temperature whereas most eggplant dips are served cold. This particular eggplant dip recipe lists eggplants as the main ingredient and uses kashk (yogurt whey) to add more flavor to the dish. This eggplant dip makes a great appetizer for family gatherings or dinner parties.
How to serve Persian eggplant dip
This Persian eggplant dip is usually served as an appetizer though I can totally have it as a main dish. Kashke bademjan is usually served with bread like lavash, pita or naan. You can also serve it with baguette or sourdough. I always serve this Persian eggplant dip with a side of fresh herbs such as arugula, basil, green onions and parsley.
Notes and tips to make Kashke Bademjan:
- If you cannot find kashk or are not a fan of it, you can simply use sour cream, European or Greek yogurt instead.
- If you would like to freeze kashke bademjan, freeze the mixture before adding the kashk, sour cream or yogurt. Once you’re ready to eat, thaw kashke bademjan, mix it with kashk and heat in a pan.
- You can use any type of eggplant for this recipe as long as they’re not seedy. I prefer using Chinese eggplants but Italian, graffiti or regular globe eggplants work as well. Make sure to peel the eggplants.
- Using dried mint is very much advised in this recipe. You can find dried mint in big supermarkets or middle eastern/Persian shops.
Looking for more eggplant recipes?
- Baba Ganoush Recipe
- The best Middle Eastern eggplant recipe
- Eggplant caponata
- Turkish stuffed eggplants
Tools and ingredients used in this recipe:
Kashke Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Dip)
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 Chinese Eggplants See Note #1
- 1 large Onion Sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic Minced
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup Water See Note #2
- 3/4 cup Liquid Kashk See Note #3
- 1 tbsp Bloomed Saffron See Note #4
- 2 tbsp Dried Mint See Note #5
- Peel the eggplants and cut them in halves lengthwise, then cut each into half width-wise.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan, once hot, place the eggplants in the pan and sear on both sides until golden brown. The eggplants are not supposed to cook all the way through.
- Take the eggplants out of the pan and place them in a plate. In the same pan, pour two tablespoons olive oil and saute the onion until golden brown and soft.
- Add in the garlic and give it a nice stir.
- Add in the browned eggplants, turmeric and black pepper. Mix and add the water. Cover and cook for ten to fifteen minutes until the eggplants are cooked through.
- Once the eggplants are cooked, turn the heat off and mash the eggplants using a potato masher or an immersion blender.
- Add kashk, one tablespoon dried mint and bloomed saffron to the eggplant mixture and stir well. Turn the heat on to medium and cook for another five to eight minutes.
- Serve warm with pita, lavash or naan bread.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and sear one tbsp dried mint for thirty seconds.
- Top kashke bademjan with more kashk (yogurt whey), walnuts, seared dried mint and caramelized onion and garlic.
- You can use any other type of eggplants such as Italian, graffiti or regular globe eggplants. You'll need about 1-1.5 lb eggplants.
- If the eggplants are not cooked completely, add more water, start with three to four tablespoons.
- You can find liquid kashk (yogurt whey) in Persian/Middle Eastern shops. If you find dry kashk, mix 1/2 cup dry kashk with 1/2 cup boiling water and let it sit for some minutes, Then mix so it dissolves. The consistency should be of ketchup. If it's too thick, add more water.
- To see how to bloom saffron, click here.
- You can find dried mint at Persian/Middle Easter shops or here (affiliate).