Turkish eggplant and yogurt dip

Many versions of this creamy eggplant dip are to be found around the Mediterranean. This one is thickened with ground almonds, which add both texture and protein. Served with pita bread and crunchy vegetable crudités, the dip makes a delicious snack or starter.

Turkish eggplant and yogurt dip


  • 3 eggplant, about 700 g in total
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup (25 g) ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup (160 g) Greek–style yogurt
  • ⅓ cup (40 g) pitted black olives, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 zucchini
  • 3 stalks celery
  • ½ cauliflower, broken into large florets
  • 4 pieces of wholemeal pita bread
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 4 black olives, halved and pitted


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Prick the eggplant in several places with a fork and place on a lightly greased baking tray.
  3. Roast for 40 minutes, turning the eggplant occasionally.
  4. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the baking tray and continue roasting for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant feel very soft.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave the eggplant until they are cool enough to handle, then cut them into quarters lengthwise.
  6. Strip off the skin and put the flesh into a colander.
  7. Leave to drain for about 15 minutes.
  8. Squeeze out as much liquid from the eggplant flesh as possible.
  9. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skin.
  10. Combine the eggplant flesh, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, cumin and oil in a food processor, and purée until smooth.
  11. Alternatively, put the ingredients in a bowl and purée using a handheld blender.
  12. Stir in the yogurt and chopped olives.
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Cover and set aside.
  15. Preheat a cast–iron chargrill pan, or preheat the grill to high.
  16. Cut the zucchini and celery into finger–length sticks suitable for dipping and arrange on a platter with the cauliflower florets.
  17. Put the pita breads on the chargrill pan or on the rack of the grill pan and toast for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until just beginning to brown.
  18. Cut each bread into 6 wedges and place on the platter.
  19. Sprinkle the eggplant dip with paprika and garnish with the halved olives.
  20. Serve with the vegetable crudités and warm pita bread.

Serves 8
Preparation: 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes draining
Cooking: about 1¼ hours


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