Monday, April 24, 2006

Kashk-e bademjan

Tonight I made a Persian dish called kashk-e bademjan - bademjan is eggplant in Farsi. The trouble is, kashk is an item made from whey (I've also blogged this using kashk here). As a substitute I used some yogurt cheese I'd made the other day. It's just plain soy yogurt (the Wildwood Soyogurt is the best we've tried - it has no sweeteners and comes closest to plain dairy yogurt), put in a sieve lined with several layers of coffee filters. Then you put this over a bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight. All the excess liquid drains out and you are left with a thick yogurt "cheese." I used it in the following recipe:

Kashk-e Bademjan

2 eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/3-1/2" thick
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2-3 T. tomato paste concentrate (from tube)
1/2 cup yogurt cheese
2 tsp salt
1 onion, very finely diced
5-6 garlic cloves, very finely diced

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil. Put the eggplant in a single layer on the baking sheet and spray each side with oil. Put under the broiler for about 5-6 minutes each side until it gets browned and starts to fall apart.

Once all the eggplant is cooked put it in a saucepan and turn the heat on medium. Start with about 1/2 cup water and stir the eggplant with the water until the eggplant breaks down, adding additional water as it gets incorporated. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook until everything is combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt cheese and salt.

For the topping you'll want to cook the onion first in a small amount of oil until it starts to brown and then add the garlic. You keep cooking this, stirring constantly, until the onion/garlic combination gets very browned and crispy. Sprinkle this over the eggplant. Without this topping the eggplant won't have much flavor - the garlic and onion is pretty critical! Serve it with lavosh, pita or other bread of your choice.

We also had a store-bought bruschetta - it had tomatoes, green olives, garlic and capers. I served it on rosemary focaccia that I toasted in the oven. It was good but way saltier than what I would prepare at home.

I also made some oven roasted Brussels sprouts tossed with lemon, salt and pepper. I had a more well-though out dinner in mind and then realized that one kid had tutoring and another had a team dinner tonight. So I just put together a little of this and a little of that. Unfortunately - blogger isn't letting me upload any more pictures - I'm not sure what's up. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a couple more to post!


primaryconsumer said...

That's so cool to know you can make yogurt cheese out of soy yogurt. I had been wondering about that, so thank you!

Dori said...

I like wildwood yogurt too. The place it is manufactured is 17 miles away from my home. I get to watch the soybeans growing that are used in that stuff. My favorite brand too.

Guinnah said...

Hi Primaryconsumer - the yogurt cheese worked pretty well and made a decent substitute for the kashk. Easy too!

Dori - it's good to know you can keep an eye on those soybeans growing ;-) We were so happy when we finally tried that brand - I felt like we were never going to find a suitable replacement for plain dairy yogurt and it is one of my daughter's favorite foods.

Julie said...

Wow! That's really neat that you made soy yogurt cheese! I'll have to keep my eye out for Wildwood brand.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Oh wow indeed! I've never made Persian food but I've enjoyed it at a restaurant in town, I'll keep this in mind for eggplant season~

Guinnah said...

Howdy Julie - believe me, we tried every plain yogurt out there and the Wildwood is the only one that has that tartness we were after. I love your new pic BTW :-)

Hey Jess - are there good Persian restaurants in Pdx? We had our rehearsal dinner at one but that was, ahem, 20 years ago! Yikes!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

There is one I know of - Persian House on Morrison - I had a pretty o-kay if a little bland, lunch buffet there once~

Amber said...

Wow, thanks for letting me know how to make vegan kashk. I used to LOVE kashk-e-bademjan before I became vegan. Can't wait to make this version, I might add a little nutritional yeast to it and see how it goes.