Go garden fresh with eggplant dip


Fresh is usually best, and what’s fresher than straight-from-the-garden veggies?!

Eggplant is the name of Grishma Shah’s game. She recently won a Blue Ribbon for her cool and creamy Raita, an eggplant dip with flavor galore! “My family recipe… has been passed to generations from my grandma to my mom, aunts and so on. I learnt it from one of my aunts who still makes it the best of all.” The secret to Grishma’s delicious success dwells within her inspired combination of peanuts, cilantro and chilies. Bathed in a creamy mixture of gingered yogurt and eggplant, the intense flavors meld into a spectacle of flavor… perfectly suited to a summer day! “Every time when the family gets together at my grandma’s place for any type of celebration this condiment has to be there,” says Grishma. “The meal is incomplete without it!” Serve with pita, veggies or as an accompaniment to spicy Indian fare.

Creamy Eggplant Dip

3 c. low fat greek yogurt

1 lg. eggplant

1-2 sm. hot green chilies

4-5 big garlic cloves

1-inch ginger piece

1/2 c. roasted peanuts

2/3 tsp. dried yellow mustard

salt to taste

1/2 c. chopped cilantro

1 tsp. oil to roast eggplant

Apply some oil on eggplant and on a medium open flame roast till its skin is burnt and eggplant is soft. Make sure it gets roasted on every side. So keep changing sides. OR roast it in pre-heated oven at 350 F for about 30-35 minutes or until it is soft and roasted.

Once roasted, remove from flame/oven and let it cool down a bit before you peel off the burnt skin and remove the stem of the eggplant.

In a mixing bowl mash the eggplant using fork and let it cool down completely.

In a food processor add peanuts and process twice until it breaks down into tiny pieces. Remove it in a bowl of mashed eggplant and in a same food processor bowl finely process green chilies, garlic and ginger. Add it to the eggplant mixture along with 3 cups of Greek yogurt. Season with salt and mustard. Add chopped cilantro and mix well.

Serve immediately or refrigerate it until you are ready to serve. It tastes best when you allow the flavors to develop so if you have time let it sit in refrigerator for an hour or two. Once chilled give it a quick stir and garnish with some peanuts and chopped cilantro.

Serve with whatever you like. It goes best with grilled pita, vegetables, steamed rice or anything. I can just eat a bowl full of it right away. It is that comfy!

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