Vegan Kashk Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Dip)

Kashk Bademjan is a flavorful Persian eggplant dip that is served as an appetizer with warm bread. Kashk is a dairy product made of drained yogurt and has a salty and tangy flavor. Bademjan means eggplant. This dish is traditionally made from the combination of these two ingredients. 

Our version skips the dairy and creates a kinder version of this delicious dish using plant-based yogurt with lemon juice and salt to achieve the same flavors.

I recently saw someone say they could never be vegan because they eat meat and wear fur in their culture.

Cultural violence represents the existence of prevailing social norms that make direct or structural violence seem natural or at least acceptable. Culture has been used to legitimize violence – violence based on race, religion, gender, and species. If “culture” is a reason to continue oppression and violence, it is worth asking if that culture needs preserving.

I personally embraced my Iranian culture more since I became vegan. I learned to cook more Persian food so I could veganize it. I made my own Haft Sin so I could do vegan alternatives to the eggs and live fish. Going vegan actually increased my cultural competency. Yes, you can retain your culture, and be kind to every kind.

We hope you enjoy this new plant-based Persian recipe! 🙂

“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.” – Leo Tolstoy 

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant (or several small ones as pictured below)
  • 3 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. Oil (divided)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion thinly julienned
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp. turmeric (divided)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. dry mint (you can get this at the Persian store) (for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (for garnish)
  • Vegan Kashk
    • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened almond yogurt (we recommend KiteHill brand)
    • 1 tsp. lemon juice
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. water

Directions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 380 F.
  2. Add 1/2 Tbsp. oil to a medium bowl. Add egg plant and fully coat.
  3. Cook eggplant in air fryer for 20 minutes, turning eggplant over halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Add eggplant and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the eggplant stem and gently peel the eggplant.
  6. Mash the eggplant in a bowl with a fork. Set aside.
  7. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil to a medium pot on medium/high heat. Add the onion, and fry the onion until golden. Add 1/2 tsp. turmeric and fry another 1-2 minutes. Set aside 3 Tbsp. of the fried onion for the garnish.
  8. Add the mashed eggplant to the pot with the fried onion and fry 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper, stir, cover, and cook on medium/low heat for 10 minutes. Add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup water if needed.
  9. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to a small pan. Add the garlic and fry on medium/high heat until golden. Add 1/2 tsp. turmeric and fry another 1-2 minutes.
  10. Take 1 Tbsp. of the fried garlic, and add to the pot with the mashed eggplant mixture. Set aside the rest of the fried garlic for garnish.
  11. In the same small pan you fried the garlic, add 1 tsp. oil, and fry the dried mint over medium/high heat for 2-3 minutes. Set aside the fried mint for garnish.
  12. Prepare the Vegan Kashk.
    1. Combine almond yogurt, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and water and mix.
  13. Set aside about 1-2 Tbsp of the Vegan Kashk for garnish. Add the rest of the Vegan Kashk to the post with the mashed eggplant mixture. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
  14. Put the mashed eggplant mixture in a medium bowl, and garnish with the fried onion, fried garlic, fried mint, chopped walnuts. Add a little water to the Vegan Kashk that was set aside and drizzle to garnish.
  15. Serve with warm bread!
  16. Noosh-e-Jan!

SERVES 3-4 people

vegan kashk-e-bademjan