My eggplant fascination started when i visited the south of Russia and saw that in many Datchas people grow this vegetable in their gardens. I guess i lacked of imaginations as i could not think about any more creative way of serving it than straight from the frying pan.Few years later i moved to Germany, visited one russian shop and found there a pot of Ikra, famous russian spread made of eggplants, tomatoes, paprika, carrots, all well mixed and cooked together with spices.
The whole pesrpective changed once i saw and tried Kashke bademjan in a very good Persian restaurant in Dusseldorf. It was quite clear from the menu that it is only a appetizer, but i couldnot use word ONLY in this case. I ordered a mix of appetizers with eggplant (bademjan) and a special persian yoghurt (kashk). I had no idea what were the ingrediens butmthe taste convinced me to empty the full plate.
I found a really detailed recipe here and i will be not afraid to test it. How fantastic it is to combine an eggplant, wallnuts and yoghurt. What fascinates me as well is the yoghurt used in Persian cuisine. So what is Keshk ? This source states :
“In modern Iran, kashk is a thick whitish liquid similar to whey (a dairy product) similar to sour cream, used in traditional Persian/Iranian cooking. It is available as a liquid or in a dried form, which needs to be soaked and softened before it can be used in cooking. Kashk was traditionally produced from the leftovers of cheese-making (more specifically, the milk used to make it).” For sure quite fat, but very intense and can be used for prepraring many appetizers combined with mint, cucumber, garlic, onions, like in Mast o musir dip.
The last appetizer i was able to identify after spending a proper moment digging in the Internet was Mirza Ghassemi, which eggplants, tomatoes and… boiled eggs. Everything spiced with tumeric, garlic and pepper.