Eggplant-Pomegranate dip is a humble yet a healthy and delicious vegan appetizer, that will dent your taste buds for a long time.
Meet The Creator of Eggplant-Pomegranate Dip
Eggplant Pomegranate Dip is a vegan mezze/appetizer dish that I learned from Lusine.
Lusine is a Syrian-Armenian woman who fled the ravaging war in Syria in 2014. The full swing civil war pounded her neighborhood in Aleppo and forced her out along with her only son.
Adrift and displaced, Lusine headed to the land of her ancestors, Armenia, which she never lived in or visited before.
I met Lusine through a women empowerment program in Yerevan (capital of Armenia) that was aimed at Syrian refugees, in which I volunteered for three years.
On our first meeting this grounded woman amazed me with her innate acumen, self-motivation, and unmatched resilience.
Ostensibly, previous life calamities only made Lusine stronger. She was a mother of a teenager when her husband died and left her alone to raise her son and make a living.
Syrian Refugees Shape Armenian Cuisine
As a refugee in Armenia, she was juggling two jobs, one as a full time cook at a Lebanese restaurant in Yerevan (Armenia’s capital) and the other one as a small scale home-based caterer.
Lusine didn’t have a college degree and hasn’t been to a culinary school, yet she had the most powerful skill set— her kind demeanor, stamina, and her strong passion for food.
Thanks to her perseverance and ongoing self development, Lusine was able to cook and cater for official dinners and high end parties. While she significantly refined her techniques, her food remained authentic and simple, loaded with flavors and memories from her beloved Aleppo.
If you find yourself in Armenia, make sure to order Lusine’s mouthwatering kibbeh, tantalizing apricot mabrusha, and her signature mezzah dishes. Until then, have a taste of her unique recipe of eggplant dip which she calls Salatet batinghan or eggplant salad.
How To Make Eggplant-Pomegranate Dip
Making eggplant-pomegranate dip can’t be easier or more straightforward. If you can crack an egg, you probably can make that dip blindfolded.
Start by preheating your oven, when it reaches the right temperature, roast one eggplant for 20-30 minutes until the skin shivers and the flesh is fully cooked, soft and creamy.
You know that an eggplant is roasted to perfection, when you can easily pierce it with knife.
Remove the eggplant’s skin and with a fork mash the eggplant into a paste. Add the chopped red onion, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
What is Pomegranate Molasses
Pomegranate molasses is the product of slowly reducing pomegranate juice. Given its unique sweet and tart notes, pomegranate molasses is a quintessential ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisines.
Success Tips of Eggplant-Pomegranate Dip
Using the right type of eggplant is key. The best eggplants for this dip are: Globe/American eggplant or Italian eggplant.
Shallots or red onions work best in this recipe.
Garlic types are so many and their taste depend on where you live. If you live in a place where you only find Chinese garlic, then you can possibly roast it first to mitigate its overpowering flavor. Roasting garlic is simple you can find full instructions here on the blog of simply recipes.
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Recipe of Eggplant -Pomegranate Dip
Recipe Credit to Lusine Madarian
Serves 4-6 people
- 1 big eggplant
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 of sweet or smoked paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
- Pomegranate seeds or chopped tomatoes for decoration (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 ° F.
- Place the eggplant in the oven for 20-230 minutes until the skin burns and the eggplant is noticeably soft. Remove the skin and discard, and mash the eggplant flesh thoroughly with a fork
- To the mashed eggplant, add the finely chopped clove of garlic, onions, olive oil, pomegranate molasses and season to your liking with salt and pepper.
- Decorate with pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
- Serve cold with pita chips or crackers.