Smoked Aubergine Dip

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Passion for Vegetables

By Paul Gayler

Published 1999

  • About


  • 2 aubergines
  • 50 g (2 oz) blanched almonds
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2.5 cm (1 in) piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • Salt
  • Chopped fresh coriander, to garnish


    I just cannot get enough of this dip. It makes a great accompaniment to Asian-style dishes. Serve as a dip for crudités or just on its own with lots of bread such as naan or parathas.

    Prick the aubergines in several places with a small knife, then bake whole over a barbecue or in a hot oven for about an hour, until the skin is well charred and the flesh is soft when pierced with a knife. Leave to cool, then peel. Place the flesh in a deep bowl and mash it as finely as possible with a masher or a fork (do not use a food processor or blender).

    Toast the almonds and mustard seeds in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes, then add the olive oil, onion, chilli and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes over a low heat. Transfer to a small blender and blend to a purée.

    Add the almond mixture to the mashed aubergine and mix in the garlic, cayenne pepper and some salt. Add the lemon juice and yoghurt. Transfer to a serving bowl and, with the back of a hot spoon, make a hollow in the centre. Pour in a little olive oil and sprinkle with some chopped coriander.