This is a chilled soup which, for me, is evocative of my young childhood days in the Middle East. The smoky richness of the grilled aubergines is combined with characteristic spices, yogurt and mint – all irresistible flavours. If possible, buy the spices whole and grind them in a coffee grinder shortly before using.
Put the aubergines under the hottest grill for about 10–20 minutes, turning them once or twice until the skins are really blackened and even cracked.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the halved cloves of garlic and the ground spices and stir just until the garlic has softened – keep the heat low so that it doesn’t burn.
Dip the charred aubergines