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Eggplant and Yogurt Dip (Borani-e bademjan)
Servings: 4

2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup drained yogurt
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water (optional)
1 tablespoon drained yogurt
Fresh mint leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Rinse the eggplant and prick it in
several places with a fork to prevent bursting.

Place the eggplant in the center rack of the oven, with a baking
sheet underneath the rack to catch the drippings. Bake for 1 hour.
A more traditional cooking method is to grill the eggplant for
about 40 minutes, turning frequently, over a charcoal or wood fire
that has burned down to embers. Remove the eggplant from the oven,
place it on a cutting board, and let it stand until cool enough to
handle. Remove the eggplant skin with your hands and chop the flesh.

Transfer the flesh to a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients,
and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with saffron water, drained
yogurt, and mint leaves and serve hot or cold with lavash bread.
This recipe may be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in
the refrigerator. If the dip is refrigerated for more than an hour,
remove it from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving.


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