On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my family threw a dinner party for 60 people. We made a bunch of dishes, including tomato curry, kandh and coconut shaak, sauteed potatoes with cashews, and my grandmother’s cold eggplant salad, which I’ve eaten before in Bombay. It’s a twist on a traditional babaganoush recipe- the addition of yogurt and cilantro cools the smokiness of the grilled eggplants and adjusts the dip for Indian weather. I know it’s getting cold around here, but if you’re looking for a homemade dip to serve to guests, dadi’s cold eggplant salad is a familiar food with just a few changes.
Dadi’s Cold Eggplant Salad
4 eggplants, each sliced in half lengthwise
2 onions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tomatoes, diced
3 green chilies, diced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cups yogurt, or more depending on preference
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil
4 Tbsp. ghee, or melted butter, for brushing eggplants
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking pans with foil.
In a bowl, combine the crushed garlic and the ghee/melted butter. Using a brush, glaze each eggplant half with garlic-butter mixture.
Roast the eggplants on the grill on in the oven on 450 degrees F for about 40 minutes, until they are soft and tender, and their skin looks charred.
Once the eggplants have softened, remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then remove the skin from the eggplants and mash the remainder into a chunky pulp.
Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, saute the onions and tomatoes until the onions are transparent, about 7 minutes.
Add the green chilies, salt, and the pulped eggplant to the skillet and mix well. Cook for 3 more minutes, and then remove skillet from flame. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. It should be just barely warm to touch.
Add the yogurt to the eggplant and mix until the consistency of the dip is smooth. Add salt to taste. Let cool in refrigerator until you serve it. Before serving, garnish with cilantro.