If you like baba ganoush you’ll love this Persian eggplant dip with yogurt.
This summer I’ve been spending time in Ontario but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been traveling to far off places, at least in spirit. Without a doubt my favourite aspect of Toronto is its diversity. The city isn’t perfect but there’s an openness to learning about other cultures that makes it an amazing place to live.
The Aga Khan Museum opened in 2014 with the intention to “offer unique insights and new perspectives into Islamic civilizations and the cultural threads that weave through history binding us all together.”
I think we can all agree more of these museums are needed. We need to remember we’re more similar than different.
Inside the museum the Diwan restaurant continues this spirit. Food is inspired by the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
The dining room is an exhibit in itself. A 19th-century Syrian home inspires the decor. The walls are decorated with gorgeous wood panels that were hand carved and painted in Damascus in 1799.
The menu developed by celebrity Chef Mark McEwan, the menu ranges from familiar dishes like the chicken shawarma salad to more traditional food.
So when Diwan invited me to try their new lunch menu on the patio I also invited Charlene from Chew Street. She had just interviewed Chef McEwan and discovered he though sumac was the most underrated spice and would appreciate the menu.
I’m sure the chicken shawarma salad is fantastic. However, we wanted to try new food like borani bademjan – Persian eggplant and yogurt dip.
There are so many Persian recipes that use eggplant or bademjan and this isn’t the only dip. The key is in the ingredients, charring the eggplant for flavour and using a great yogurt.
This Persian eggplant dip is light and healthy dip. The vibrant yellow colour comes from tumeric but many recipes call for saffron, which is significantly more expensive. But it’s also a very mild dip. There aren’t strong spices and the flavours come from the charred eggplant and caramelized onion.
Persian yogurt is thick and a bit sour. If you don’t have a middle eastern shop close to buy Turkish or Persian yogurt look for plain whole fat yogurt or Greek yogurt.
Do not use low fat yogurt as it will be runny.
Persian Eggplant Dip – Borani Bademjan
I’m not going to lie. I’d love to throw some red chilis in this to give spice to balance the cool yogurt.
I also think crushed pistachios on top would be a nice textural addition. Also pomegranate seeds would be nice to complement the sweetness of the caramelized onion.
Serve this Persian eggplant dip with naan, pita bread, chips or fresh vegetables.
Persian Eggplant Dip Recipe Modifications
You can add a cup of crushed tomatoes to this recipe to create borani bademjan ba ghojeh faranghi.
If you’re vegan simply add a bit more eggplant to replace the yogurt.
You can find this dish and more at the Aga Khan Museum
77 Wynford Drive
North York, ON
Want more easy dip recipes from around the world? Check out