Mirza: Persian Eggplant Dip
A few weeks back, I got a middle-eastern picnic from a local deli in my neighbourhood called Vancouver Euro Deli. They sell more than just Mediterranean foods, and it was one of those places like the Tardis: it’s a lot bigger on the inside.
They have great hummus, but they also had this eggplant dip called Mirza, or Mirza Ghasemi.
You’re probably familiar with baba ghanouj, it’s a roasted eggplant dip that has very similar ingredients to hummus (lemon juice, tahini and spices), but it uses roasted eggplant for the base instead of chickpeas.
Mirza is different, and I’d never had it before. What makes it different is that it’s more of a tomato-based dip. It’s delicious and smoky and bright.
Some of my foodie friends and I got together a week ago for a Middle-Eastern themed end-of-summer picnic, and I made this, along with a couple different types of hummus, as my contribution. Eggplant is not always everyone’s favourite, but it was a hit all around!
The eggplant is stewed down for a long time, and it is kind of hidden by the tomatoes in the sauce, so even eggplant haters might like this.
The original recipe calls for eggs, but I left them out, which makes this dip vegan, and I don’t think the dish is lacking anything by their exclusion.
Just FYI, you know how big of a fan I am of sourcing local ingredients and eating what’s in season. Everything in this dip is locally sourced, and weirdly, never out of season, as they are locally grown in greenhouses. So you can have locally grown cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes and peppers year-round. Win-win 👍🏻
Mirza: Persian Eggplant Dip
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 3 medium eggplants (about 6")
- 3 medium tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp harissa paste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees, or you could use your barbecue for this step.
- Prick your eggplants all over with a fork, and rub a little olive oil on them.
- If using your oven, place on a sheetpan and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour. If using the BBQ, place on the rack and roast for 15-20 minutes. You want the eggplants to be quite soft.
- Remove from the oven or BBQ and place in a metal bowl and then cover. This will steam them a bit and allow the skins to come off easier. Allow to cool enough to handle.
- Heat a large, heavy pan over low-medium heat on the stove and add a tablespoon of oil.
- Add the garlic and allow to cook till fragrant, then add the tomatoes. Add the salt, stir well, and allow to cook down for about 15 minutes.
- Once the eggplants have cooled enough to touch, peel them and chop them, and then add them to the tomatoes.
- Add the tomato paste, harissa, turmeric and sugar, and stir well. Add the remaining olive oil and stir again.
- Cook everything together for another 5-10 minutes, until it's all combined and the sauce has thickened.
- Serve hot or cold, with bread and fresh veggies for dipping.
@findbex WARNING: 🍆🍆🍆 content! 😳Mirza, a Middle-Eastern dip made of roasted eggplants snd tomatoes. Using locally-greenhouse-grown veggies! This dip is normally made with eggs, but this version is vegan. #eggplant #tomatoes #dip #eatlocal #buylocal #supportlocal #persian #middleeastern #persianfood #middleeasternfood #vegan #vegatarian #plantbased #easyveganrecipes #hummus #dip ♬ BUTTER&TOAST - howiewonder