This is probably one of my most favourite dips – full of flavour, wonderful texture and very versatile, yummy and satisfying. You can have this with wholemeal toast, pitta bread, crackers, ciabatta, wraps, etc. The smoked flavour in this is ever so addictive – if you want a hot version of this, add a little chilli powder and off you go. So let’s make this.
- 1 medium-sized eggplant (aubergine)
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- salt to taste (it will need it)
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- juice of ½ a small lemon
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- black pepper
- Drizzle of olive oil for topping
You will need an open flame or gas stove for this. Place eggplant (aubergine) with a long fork stuck into it on the naked flame, and turn frequently in order to scorch and blacken it. Have a wide bowl next to you in case the eggplant weeps – all the juices are essential. Once all the eggplant is black, place in a large open bowl, and allow to cool. At this point, peel off the black skin and discard (you may need a bowl of water next to you to wash off any skin that has stuck to your fingers). Place the remaining flesh in a bowl, and mash it until you have a nice thickened pulp.
Fry the olive oil, garlic and spices in a small saucepan for a minute or so, then add the remaining ingredients. Cook the mixture for a few minutes until it takes on a nice deep orange colour. Mix and mash further, and then place in a bowl. Shape it nicely with a fork, and finally drizzle some olive oil on top. Allow to cool, and refrigerate. Now you have yourself a most delicious dip ! Serve as you wish – I often serve it as a stand-alone dip for sharing with friends, or as part of a main course with stuffed artichokes – a healthy and tasty meal indeed !
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