Persian aubergine dip (mirza ghasemi)

   I must have mentioned my love for eggplants before but love is something to be renewed moment by moment, isn't it? How did I express my love for this beautiful nightshade this time? By turning it into a lovely dip, a vegan version of the Persian recipe that originally requires the use of eggs. How much did I love it? I ate half of it for lunch and I'm not ashamed to say it!

- 2  large eggplants/ 3 smaller ones
- 2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- fresh parsley, to garnish

  Char the eggplant on the grill or in the oven, remove skin and let drain in a sieve for 30 minutes. Or you could use frozen eggplant pulp - defrost it in a sieve. Once drained, roughly chop the pulp, reserve. In a mortar, mash the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt until it turns into a paste. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet and add the garlic paste and fry about 30 seconds (don't let it burn), add turmeric and fry 10-15 seconds more. Add eggplant pulp, stir to combine well and fry about 5 minutes, on low heat. Add diced tomatoes and cook about 10 - 15 minutes longer, stirring often and mashing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and adding about 1/4 of water if needed. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with your favorite bread. Enjoy!

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