I fell in love when we were in Istanbul. I loved the history, the culture, the language, the people, and the cuisine. But most of all, I fell in love with a garlicky eggplant and yogurt dip I had our first night in Istanbul (more on that once I do our trip re-caps!). I would have gladly eaten just that for dinner.
Now that we’ve been back a week and nostalgia has set in, I decided I wanted to recreate this dip.
What I ended up with wasn’t that dip, but it was still good nonetheless. It just means I get to keep trying until I get it right!
The dip I had was creamy, thick, tangy, and garlicky. This one is textured, smoky, tangy, and garlicky. See? Different but good in its own way.
Smoky Eggplant & Garlic Yogurt Dip
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1-2 tsp. minced garlic
salt & black pepper to taste
paprika for sprinkling on top
1. Stage main ingredients and take tons of pics to practice photography skills and explore beyond the P-setting and macro so that you can justify the need to buy a DSLR for better food pics. What?
2. Line gas burner with foil, turn burner on “high” and roast eggplant directly on flame, turning over to roast all sides.
3. Try not to set the kitchen on fire.
4. Once eggplant has been roasted, plop into a bowl to cool off and let the liquids seep out. Argue with Mr. Spice about how I’m using the camera.
5. Once eggplant has cooled, peel the charred skin off the eggplant. I took a damp paper-towel and wiped any remaining charred bits off.
6. Cut eggplant flesh into chunks, then take a fork and mash into a pulp.
7. Dump eggplant pulp in bowl and add yogurt and garlic. Squeeze the lime half into the bowl. Stir and combine ingredients. Taste, make a face, and add lots of salt and pepper. Taste again, add more garlic and lime juice. Try to remember what the dip in Istanbul tasted like, then realize that this is smoky and the other wasn’t. Oh well. Garnish with paprika and call it a day.
8. Serve with pita bread and pita chips for dunking.
Verdict? Like I said before, it isn’t the dip we had, but I thought it was good in its own way. Mr. Spice took more time to warm up to it. His words — “I don’t know that I’m crazy about the taste, but I can’t stop eating it!”
I liked it best served with other items and possibly as a sandwich spread. We ended up eating it with salad, pita, and chicken kababs (using some Turkish chicken spice blend I bought on our trip.)