Aubergine Purée with Mint and Almonds

Nazuktan

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From central Anatolia, nazuktan is a sweet and sour, crunchy dish made from the soft, smoky pulp of charcoal-grilled aubergines, toasted almonds, pekmez and fresh mint. It is delicious served on its own with bread or as part of a meze spread.

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines
  • 3 tablespoons thick creamy yogurt
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • 1 tablespoon pekmez
  • 2-3 tablespoons toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • small bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish

  • a few whole toasted almonds
  • fresh mint leaves

Method

  • Place the whole aubergines over a charcoal grill or hold them directly over a high gas flame, turning them until they become very soft. Then slit them open and scoop out the flesh, or place them under a running cold tap and remove the skin. (If you use the tap method, squeeze the flesh dry.)
  • Chop the flesh to a pulp and put in a bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix well. Season to taste. Garnish with the almonds and a few mint leaves, and serve while still warm if possible. (Of course, the tap method cools the flesh.)
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