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Mirza Ghassemi

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

This is a lovely, subtly flavoured yet rich (but healthy!) Persian dish. It is traditionally served as a casual starter, to be eaten with flat bread, herbs and salads, to whet the appetite for more substantial eating later on. Can be served as a dip with pitta or lavash bread, crudites or even (very unauthentic but probably tasty nonetheless) tortilla chips. The whole ethos and style of Persian cooking conflicts with the idea of following a recipe (as I have learnt from my mother, who, till this day, is physically unable to stay within boundaries), so I have remained purposefully vague. The raw ingredients vary so much according to season, freshness etc, that it would be impossible to dictate every gram. Basically you're aiming for a garlicky, tomato-y, thick aubergine pulp, which should be well seasoned with an almost smokey aftertaste. Yum!

This is a lovely, subtly flavoured yet rich (but healthy!) Persian dish. It is traditionally served as a casual starter, to be eaten with flat bread, herbs and salads, to whet the appetite for more substantial eating later on. Can be served as a dip with pitta or lavash bread, crudites or even (very unauthentic but probably tasty nonetheless) tortilla chips. The whole ethos and style of Persian cooking conflicts with the idea of following a recipe (as I have learnt from my mother, who, till this day, is physically unable to stay within boundaries), so I have remained purposefully vague. The raw ingredients vary so much according to season, freshness etc, that it would be impossible to dictate every gram. Basically you're aiming for a garlicky, tomato-y, thick aubergine pulp, which should be well seasoned with an almost smokey aftertaste. Yum!

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 2 large aubergines
  • 5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 4 medium tomatoes (skinned)
  • olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 2 large eggplants
  • 5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 4 medium tomatoes (skinned)
  • olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper

Method

Mirza Ghassemi is a community recipe submitted by leiladukes and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • Place the whole aubergines on a baking tray and bake in a moderately hot oven until they are cooked through-- they will look swollen with burst, discoloured skin. This should take about 15-20 minutes, but don't worry too much about times, basically you are just trying to soften the flesh.
  • Once cooled slightly, skin the aubergines (the cooked skin should peel off easily) and chop into small pieces. Skin the tomatoes (put them in a bowl and pour over boiling water from a kettle so the skin splits and can be peeled off easily), and chop. I don't bother to remove the seeds personally.
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic until softened and beginning to brown. Add the aubergine and give it a stir to soften. Squish any large lumps with a wooden spoon; like dips such as guacamole, you want this to be quite smooth, but not uniform throughout-- some chunks here and there add interest).
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Fry together for 5-10 minutes. You may need to add a bit more oil.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper, and serve warm or cold with flat bread.
  • Place the whole eggplants on a baking tray and bake in a moderately hot oven until they are cooked through-- they will look swollen with burst, discoloured skin. This should take about 15-20 minutes, but don't worry too much about times, basically you are just trying to soften the flesh.
  • Once cooled slightly, skin the eggplants (the cooked skin should peel off easily) and chop into small pieces. Skin the tomatoes (put them in a bowl and pour over boiling water from a kettle so the skin splits and can be peeled off easily), and chop. I don't bother to remove the seeds personally.
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic until softened and beginning to brown. Add the eggplant and give it a stir to soften. Squish any large lumps with a wooden spoon; like dips such as guacamole, you want this to be quite smooth, but not uniform throughout-- some chunks here and there add interest).
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Fry together for 5-10 minutes. You may need to add a bit more oil.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper, and serve warm or cold with flat bread.
  • Tell us what you think