Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sudanese aubergine dip

This recipe was given to me by my lovely Sudanese friend EB. It is called aswada: aswad means black in Arabic, and is the Sudanese word for aubergine* because of its black skin. This dip is a cousin to babaghanoush, but with peanut and lime in place of tahina and lemon. It should be sharp and zingy and very garlicky.

On Friday I had some of my absolute favourite ladies over for supper: Madame la Moue, Mrs Madeira, Mrs H, Madame Pantalon and me Julie. This went down very nicely with a glass of wine as a pre-dinner snack.

Aswada
1 medium aubergine
1 dessert spoon smooth peanut butter
juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
salt
water

Cut the aubergine lengthways into 1-2cm-thick slices. Fry them in sunflower oil until buttery soft, trying not to brown too much. You will probably need to do this in a couple of batches.

Cut the skin off the edges and roughly chop the flesh. Meanwhile crush the garlic with salt in a pestle and mortar.

Add the cumin, lime juice and peanut butter and a little water to the garlic to make a loose paste.

Mix peanut dressing with the chopped aubergine and mash with a fork to make a chunky dip, adding more water to loosen if necessary. Season to taste.

Maybe it's not the prettiest appetiser in the world, but it might just be the most delicious... Serve with warm bread - I served mine with homemade pitta (recipe for which I will post tomorrow), olives and hummous. And plenty of vino, obvs.

Julie and Mrs H sample my aswada (just seen in bottom LH corner. Apols for drying washing in background...).

Variation: to serve this as a salad, slice the fried aubergine into ribbons and dress with the sauce. Do not mash.

*or eggplant, if you are in North America.

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