Simultaneously simple and ingenious, this dish adds yogurt to the already wonderful combination of eggplant and garlic, bringing creaminess and lightness.
Paired with warm, fluffy pita, crispy appetizers or grilled meats, this dip is a versatile companion that can transform any meal or appetizer into a vibrant Turkish feast.
For a stronger flavor and smoky aroma, cook the eggplant on a grill or over the open flame of a gas burner, as I showed in the mutabal recipe.
The dip goes well with a variety of dishes, including meats and vegetables. It can also be used as a dip for bread or pita bread.
⏱ Cooking time — 1 hours and 10 minutes overall. Includes 10 minutes of preparation and cooking + 60 minutes unattended.
For 4 servings:
- 500 g (1 lb) eggplant (~2 medium)
- 250 g (8 ⅚ oz) Turkish yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. salt
Preparation of eggplant. Preparing the yogurt base
Preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F).
Place the eggplants on a baking tray previously covered with foil. Using a knife or fork, make several punctures in the surface of each eggplant. This is to allow the steam that forms inside the vegetable during baking to escape.
Bake the eggplants in the oven at 200 °C (392 °F) for about 55-60 minutes.
While the eggplants are baking, take the yogurt and garlic (3-4 cloves). Chop or grate the garlic finely and add it to the yogurt. Grating will give a strong and pungent flavor to the garlic, while it will be milder when finely chopped.
Add 1 tsp. of salt and mix the yogurt with the garlic and salt well.
Completion of the dip
When the eggplants are ready, take them out of the oven and make a slit lengthwise so they cool faster.
When the eggplants are cool, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. If the eggplants have a lot of seeds, try to remove them so that the sauce is more tender and does not contain unnecessary “seeds”.
Chop the eggplant flesh finely with a knife. Add the eggplant flesh to the yogurt and mix well. Serve the sauce immediately or cover with clingfilm and put it in the fridge for an hour or two to allow the flavors to meld better and for it to solidify a bit.
Before serving, drizzle with olive oil to taste.
What type of eggplant is best for this recipe?
Any variety of eggplant works, but the large, globe type is commonly used for its meaty texture. Smaller varieties can also be used; they tend to have a sweeter flavor.
How can I prevent the yogurt from becoming watery in the dip?
Use thick, strained yogurt like Greek yogurt, and make sure to drain the cooked eggplant well. Also, avoid over-mixing the yogurt, as it can become thinner.
Can I make this dip in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the dip a day in advance. Keep it refrigerated and stir well before serving. The flavors often develop and improve when left to sit.
Is peeling the eggplant necessary?
It’s not strictly necessary but recommended. Peeling reduces bitterness and results in a smoother texture for the dip.
Can I use roasted garlic instead of raw garlic in the recipe?
Absolutely! Roasted garlic will give a milder, sweeter taste compared to the sharpness of raw garlic.
How long can I store the eggplant and yogurt dip in the fridge?
The dip can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Can I bake the eggplant instead of grilling or broiling it?
Yes, you can bake the eggplant at a high temperature until it’s soft and the skin is slightly charred. This method might take longer but still yields a great flavor.
What can I use as a substitute for yogurt in this recipe?
For a dairy-free version, you can use coconut yogurt or another plant-based yogurt alternative. The taste will differ but it’ll still be delicious.
What are the best ways to serve this eggplant and yogurt dip?
It’s commonly served as an appetizer or side dish with pita bread, crackers, or raw vegetables. It also works well as a spread in sandwiches or wraps.
Can I add other spices to the dip?
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with spices like cumin, paprika, or a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.
Is this dip gluten-free?
Yes, this dip is naturally gluten-free. Just ensure that any accompaniments like bread or crackers are also gluten-free if serving to someone with gluten sensitivities.
Can I freeze this eggplant and yogurt dip?
Freezing is not recommended as it can affect the texture and consistency of the yogurt. It’s best enjoyed fresh or stored in the fridge for a few days.
Is there a way to make this recipe vegan?
To make it vegan, replace the yogurt with a plant-based yogurt alternative. Be aware this will alter the taste slightly.
How can I thicken the dip if it’s too runny?
If the dip is too runny, you can strain it through a cheesecloth or add more mashed eggplant to achieve a thicker consistency.
Can I add lemon juice to this recipe?
A squeeze of lemon juice can be a great addition, adding a bright, fresh flavor to the dip.
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Turkish eggplant and yogurt dip
- 500 g eggplant (~2 medium)
- 250 g Turkish yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Prick the eggplants and bake on a baking tray lined with foil for 55-60 minutes until soft. Chop the garlic and mix with the yogurt and salt.
Once the eggplant is baked and cooled, remove the flesh, chop it and add it to the yogurt. Stir and let the dip stand in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours if desired. Serve, drizzled with olive oil to taste.
Calories: 31 kcal | Carbohydrates: 7 g | Protein: 1 g | Fat: 0.2 g | Saturated Fat: 0.04 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02 g | Sodium: 3 mg | Potassium: 286 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 29 IU | Vitamin C: 3 mg | Calcium: 11 mg | Iron: 0.3 mg
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