Roasted Eggplant & Garlic Dip

Summer always brings back memories of my dad’s garden. With a shovel in hand and sweat on his brow, my father turned our fairly large back yard into a crop producing farm. Rows and rows of plants would flaunt colorful peppers, shiny purple eggplants, bright green okra…the list goes on. As a child, I was less than enthusiastic to help till the earth and pull the weeds. Now as an adult, I can finally appreciate the hard work and immense effort it must have taken my dad to bring the bushels and bushels of fresh produce to our (and our neighbors’) table.

Since Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip is on our menu today, and not having inherited my father’s green thumb, Anuja and I turn to our local farmer’s market in search of just the perfect Italian eggplant. Since eggplants do not have a very good shelf life, we like to buy them no more than a day or two before we need to use them. We are in luck as we see a giant pile of eggplants in all shapes and sizes. Which one is going to make the cut for our delicious eggplant dip?

Roasted Eggplant Garlic Dip

Of course the natural instinct is to pick the biggest one in the lot. Since they are all the same price, might as well get the biggest bang for the buck, right? With eggplants, that’s not such a good idea. The biggest one usually means that it was left on the plant too long and has over matured. Unlike good matured cheese, an overly matured eggplant will have lots of seeds, will taste bitter and usually will take a lot longer to cook. A medium sized one is a better choice and will have fewer seeds and tender flesh. We stay away from the eggplants that have brown dehydrated looking stems or brown spots on the skin. This usually signals that it is on its way out. The skin should be glossy and bounce back slightly when pressed. It should have a bright green stem. Finally, we find the perfect eggplant for our Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip recipe. Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Italian Eggplant – 1, washed and stem removed
Garlic – 10 to 12 large cloves
Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped
Salt – to taste
Olive Oil – for drizzling
Red Onion – 1/4 cup, chopped finely
Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped finely
Lemon/Lime Juice – to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 450F

1. Place Eggplant on the chopping board where it does not roll and make 4 slits long ways over the top of the eggplant (approx 1/2 inch apart).
2. Gently pry open the slits and stuff whole Garlic cloves and chopped Green Chilies into the slits.
3. Place the Eggplant on a large piece of aluminum foil and lightly drizzle Olive Oil into the slits.
4. Sprinkle Salt over the Eggplant and tightly wrap it with the foil.
5. Place wrapped Eggplant in an oven proof casserole dish and bake (uncovered) at 450F for 1 hour.
6. After baking, immediately remove Eggplant from foil, directly into the hot casserole dish. Take care as Eggplant juices will sizzle in the hot dish.
7. Using a knife, make slashes in the Eggplant and mash it further with a potato masher.
8. Allow Eggplant to cool to room temperature.
9. Once cooled, add chopped Onions, Cilantro, Salt and Lemon Juice. Mix well.
10. Serve at room temperature or chilled with crackers or pita chips.

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0 thoughts on “Roasted Eggplant & Garlic Dip

  1. I AM SO INFANATELY GLAD I FOUND YOUR WEBSITE. IT FEELS AS IF I FOUND MY TWO SISTERS
    I LOVE WATCHING ALL YOUR VIDEOS AND RECIPES. I HAVE NEVER BEEN GOOD AT COOKING INDIAN FOOD AND I FIND YOUR PRESENTATION EASY AND VERY GOOD KEEP IT UP BEST REGARDS
    ELSA ARON

  2. Hi Hetal & ANuja,

    Seems like its a SMTC weekend. Made haandvo, and this gorgeous dip, kept plastic containers in sun. I am so so so happpy, it made my weekend. I had two eggplants which I baked – one the way you showed and the another with red peppers stuffed in with garlic. Both turned out to be awesome. The one with red pepper is little bit appealing to eyes as you can see some color and people are left to guessing if its tomatoes ..:) It is so good that i polished off one whole eggplant between lunch & supper 🙂 AAh, what a beautiful day ! Couldnt stop about thinking you both and thought should thank you with all my heart ! I have posted a question about handvo in handvo’s link, will wait for your reply. Absolute no rush ! Love you both !

  3. I was just introduced to your web-site and have spent quite a bit of time perusing through the recipes. I have a quick question. Can this dip be eaten as a shaak with chapatti? I’m sure it can, but I’m wondering what made you classify this as a dip as opposed to a shaak? Is there a rule of thumb that distinguishes the two? Just trying to educate myself on Indian cuisine. Thanks in advance for your response and thanks for the wonderful web-site….love the videos….sooo very helpful for a novice cook like me! You make it all look so easy!

    1. Hi Sue,

      The rule of thumb for me is that shaak has to have vaghar (tadka) where we heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, etc. That does not mean that you cannot eat this “dip” as a shaak. Just heat and serve :).

  4. Just finished this. I had tried to steam in the pressure cooker and it turned out to be quite a disaster! the brinjal didnt cook even after four whistles. (wonder if it was of poor quality) so mom and i recooked it. now its okay to eat (eating it with tortilla chips) but not a great hit.

    Lesson learnt – never try to experiment an oven based dish with a pressure cooker:(

  5. Okay, I made this today and all I can say is YUMMMmmm!!! This made my tummy SO happy! It has easily entered into our collection of often made faves. I did tweak it slightly. I left of the aluminum foil and instead used a lidded, deep cast-iron skillet. First, I heated on top of the stove with 2 tsp of olive oil. I split every garlic clove and tossed them in 1/2 tsp olive oil before stuffing them into the baigan. I sprinkled a generous handful of dessicated coconut over the whole thing before I covered it and put it in the oven. After mashing baigan, I added 1/4 tsp amchoor, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds, and kala nimak and freshly ground black pepper to taste. It was a great side to Madhur Jaffrey’s Murgh Masallam and brown basmati mixed with forbidden rice. We will do this again and again!

  6. Another great but simple recipe ladies, and I really appreciated the tip on selecting the aubergine!

    As you know by now I’m a fan of not only your website, but also seasonal gluts and my freezer. I’d quite like to make this in bulk in advance of a summer party, and freeze just after the mashing stage. Obviously it will not be reheated after defrosting, I just wanted to know whether the pulped dip (less onion, coriander etc) freezes as well as bartha?

    M

    1. Hi Milady,
      We have never tried to freeze the eggplant for this recipe, but we have frozen roasted eggplant before (for bharta). As it is already cooked, it should work. The only thing that could happen is that the roasted garlic may lose some flavor.

    1. Hi np,

      We have not tried this recipe with smaller eggplants. It could possibly work but I would imagine that the baking time would be less.

    1. ^^^^Agreed, I also find the use of hyperbole in the post completely misplaced.

      “Very heartbroken” over a recipe for aubergines? Really?!!!

  7. Namaste.
    Ladies, is a recipe where I can try out a very small amount of asafoedita or will it make no real difference either way?

    One admiring fan of yours, Rich

    1. dear miss,today u posted a very old recipe,very heart broken,it’s totally a baigan ka bharta,nothing new.and where’s the dip?u didn’t mention etall.by the way if u show me or reply me about the dip,please don’t angry on me,actually i make so much of food (we are bengali)that if not new recipe’s there,then it becomes”Arre hataao ise,ye to bakwaas hai”Types..waiting to new recipes..your’s till now fan..Garima

      1. Hi Garima,

        Sorry to have disappointed you, but if you try this recipe, you will see that it tastes nothing like baingan ka bharta. Even the roasting process is different as well as the final flavor and texture. Like we have said many times before, not every recipe is for every viewer. For all the viewers that already know a particular recipe, there are so many more that are learning new recipes. We hope that you will try this recipe anyway.

        1. Garima, yes as hetal mentioned all recipes are not for all viewers. This site has helped me so much from the time i got married n 2008 when i din’t know the A,B,C of cooking. now after many yrs, i am not an expert,infact no 1 can be. everyday is a learning process. there is no end to the number of recipes in this world. I never knew the art of making soft fluffy chapatis until i saw H/A videos believe me.

          Keep up the gr8 work ladies. I am your target audience. Pls put dosa in your “to-do” list

        2. I so agree with Sandhya. Could not make a good aloo methi till I found your video on the web. I am a big addict to your sire so pleasee ignore harsh comments and continue helping people like me who are looking forward to a change from the regular.

  8. Great recipe. Adding some roasted cumin powder would go well in this dip I believe. I will have to give it a try.

  9. Those crackers have quite a loud CRUNCH. Just being silly.

    I will definitely try this recipe, easy, healthy, and I am sure delicious.

    Thank you for these great videos.

    June

  10. Hi Hetal and Anuja…

    As usual wonderful recipe and presentation… One small question, Can we not make baingan ka bharta in a similar way in oven?

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