Kashke bademjan is a simple Persian eggplant dip that is made with a handful of ingredients. This easy and tasty vegetarian dip is full of amazing flavors and makes for a perfect appetizer served with some warm bread.
Some might think that Persian recipes are intimidating, but it's important to know that there are plenty of Persian recipes that are simple and easy to make. Some easy Persian recipes that we've written about on this blog include Persian eggplant and tomatoes and eggplant stew. Today's recipe, kashke bademjan, is one of the easiest yet tastiest Iranian recipes out there - perfect for Persian food newbies and lovers of Mediterranean dips!
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Eggplant is one of those vegetables that is sometimes overlooked. However, there are so many tasty recipes including healthy and easy dips that use eggplant. From classic baba ganoush and mutabal to delicious Greek Melitzanosalata, eggplant dips always make a grand appearance at our appetizer table.
Have you ever had that dish that makes you think to yourself, "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. 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, occasionally also spelled kashko bademjan, is the 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 from the combination of these two ingredients.
What is kashk?
Kashk is an Iranian kitchen staple that's usually used in Ash (thick soup) such as ash reshteh and eggplant soup. Yogurt whey or kashk comes in dry or liquid form. The dry form can be round, or it can be formed as a string or a powder. It should be kept in a cool, dry place. To use prepare dry kashk, 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, however, should be kept in the fridge and can go directly into 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.
This Persian eggplant dip can be made in many different ways. The most essential 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 well and mix with onion, garlic and kashk. This is quite easy and simple, but note that this method calls for more oil as eggplants absorb so much fat.
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.
Toppings for this Persian eggplant dip
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 caramelized onion on top.
What makes this 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.
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. I always serve it with a side of fresh herbs such as arugula, basil, green onions and parsley.
Notes and tips
- 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 the mixture, 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.
More eggplant recipes
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Kashke Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Dip)
- 4 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 Chinese Eggplants See Note #1
- 1 large Onion Sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic Minced
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¼ cup Water See Note #2
- ¾ cup Liquid Kashk See Note #3
- 1 tablespoon Bloomed Saffron See Note #4
- 2 tablespoon 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, salt 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 ½ tablespoon olive oil in a pan and sear one tablespoon 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 ½ cup dry kashk with ½ 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. You can also use kashk in Persian noodle soup (ash reshteh) or eggplant soup.
- To work with saffron, check out our tutorial on how to bloom saffron.
- You can find dried mint online or at Persian/Middle Easter shops. (affiliate).
- 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.
This dip was so flavorful and delicious! I made it over the weekend and everyone loved it! Thanks so much for the recipe!
I used Greek yogurt, added some salt and it was absolutely wonderful!! I ate leftovers for lunch the next day!
Thanks for this recipe, I’ll try it. Would whet from turning milk into cheese work? It’s prob not as good as yoghurt methinks
Hi Helen, if Kashk is not available, please use sour cream or just a bit of yogurt and salt. Hope this helps!
Great! I tweaked it a little and gave it more of an "American" spin. I used two whole onions and browned them before the eggplant. Then got a sear on the eggplant removed eggplant. But onions back in, added garlic (almost an entire head), added eggplant back in. Added pepper, tumeric and water (your measures). I cooked pretty low for about 25 minutes stirring and mashing. Then added Kashke, Saffron and Mint (I used much less about a tsp, not a big fan of mint). I added a little salt and more pepper to taste.
My Persian in-laws loved it and said I could bring it to Sizdeh-Bedar next time. Thanks for giving me a recipe I could use and change a little. Very easy to follow.
Hi Libby, thank you for your comment. I like your approach and will try it next time I make kashke bademjan. Hope you try our other Persian recipes too!
My significant person ordered this for me knowing that I am not a fan of eggplant but knows I love cooking and trying new food. I tasted it and practically inhaled it along with the sangak at the table. I promptly made him take me to his Persian market around the corner and bought the ingredients based on this recipe I pulled up on my phone. Thank you! Can't wait to make it this weekend!
I was going to use Greek yogurt but found Khask and have a question on eggplant - there were three varieties in the store. Indian, Chinese and regular. Is there any difference? Thanks -
Hi Camille! Happy to hear you are a Kashke Bademjan fan! Yes, you can use either Chinese or regular. Just make sure they're fresh and are not seedy. Let me know how it turns out!
Although amazing one small issue is that you don’t have any salt in it and maybe it’s bc your recipe is with kashk but I used yogurt and it needed a lot of salt. Otherwise excellent!
Hi Hanie, Thank you for your comment. That's right, I don't add salt because Kashk itself is pretty salty. Moreover, the addition of salt depends on the liking of each person. I'm glad you like this recipe!
Nice recipe! Were we supposed to add salt though?
Hi Mary! The yogurt whey (kashk) itself is salty but taste at the very end and add salt if needed 🙂
I am planning I use sour cream . What's the measurement ? Thanks
You can use 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tbsp white vinegar.
This looks so delicious! I love eggplant dip, but I haven't made this particular type before. Can't wait to try making this one at home. Thank you so much for sharing!
Hope you try this recipe and enjoy it!
I am so intrigued by this. It sounds absolutely amazing! I must learn more about persian flavors!
Hope you try and enjoy this dish! <3
I am a huge fan of eggplant so I know I'm going to love this dip. I can't wait to make it for my next family gathering!
I hope you try and enjoy this!
Edyta at Innocent Delight
Wow, this recipe really sounds fantastic. I will definitely try it if I find all the ingredients. But in the meantime I may try to make it with Greek yogurt. I love eggplant so much that actually I cannot stop thinking about this dip now...
Hi Edyta! I hope you try this recipe! Greek yogurt will work just fine! <3
This looks divine! I'm so attracted to Persian and middle eastern flavors - the ingredients are usually so simple, but the flavors are so bold! I usually reach for baba ganoush, but I must give this dip a try. It'll be perfect for grilling and picnic season.
Thank you Danielle! It's a very easy one! Perfect for summer!
This dip sounds so delicious! Especially with the saffron! It is such a glorious flavor! I love eggplant! I'm definitely giving this a try!
Thank you Beth! I hope you give this a try and enjoy!
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
I've never heard of kashk before, which is probably why some middle eastern dishes seem so exotic to me... I see you mention yogurt though -- so that's completely do-able. I want to try this.
Hope you enjoy it!
My friend/boss is Iranian. He’s always killing me with these DELICIOUS foods that his mother makes for him, because I’m always on a diet lol. . He brought this in one day and I was hooked!!!! I am so glad i stumbled upon ur site!!! Thanks for the great recipes!!
Thank you! I hope you try it and like it! 🙂