As-Salaamu Alaykum / Hello Reader,
I'll be totally frank with you, this dip is quite time consuming, charring the vegetables on the stove top, peeling the blackened skins and scooping out every last bit of succulent 'meat' of the aubergine, chopping up, placing in pan and cooking over low heat until the flavours meld together and concentrate but after all that labour the result, full on smoky flavour, sweetness from the pepper with a hum of garlic and the fruity decadence that is olive oil it's irresistible served alongside a crusty baguette.
Chili / Harissa can be added at the second cooking phase to give it a kick although i do tend to stick to a clove of crushed garlic and slug of extra virgin olive oil.
I like topping this dip with more olive oil, spring onions and fresh herbs such as coriander however, I was all out of fresh herbs on this occasion. Olives and tuna are some other toppings you can try too.
I know this seems more of a summer dish especially in Algeria when these vegetables are cheap and plentiful, you could flame grill on your barbecue however, it's winter and I like to get warm by any means even if that's by the gas stove! it's a firm favourite in my home all year round and in sha Allah it will be in yours too.
What dish do you eat in all seasons?
- 1 Aubergine
- 1 Pepper (i prefer to use red bell pepper as it gives a nice sweetness but any will do)
- 2 Salad Tomatoes
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
- Salt, Black Pepper, Cumin (to taste)
- Chili / Harissa (optional)
- Rinse and pat dry vegetables.
- Place all vegetables on gas stop tops on high heat flame grill all vegetables, turning every few minutes until all are blackened.
- Tomatoes will be the first to cook, it's not necessary to blacken the tomatoes completely, just enough so the skins starts coming away from the flesh.
- Pepper, Aubergine you really need to blacken skins all over, the aubergine will start to look like a piece of coal that's burnt i.e. white in places where it's burnt so much.
- Place Pepper and Aubergine inside plastic food bag and leave for a few minutes to steam, this will help remove skin.
- Take Pepper and Aubergine out of the bag and remove skin from tomatoes and pepper, chop and place in small pan.
- Cut the aubergine straight down the middle and scoop out the flesh as close to the skin as possible and place in the pan along with pepper and tomatoes, crush together with fork.
- Add a slug of olive oil, crushed garlic, season with a pinch of salt, pepper and cumin (you can adjust later) and chili/harissa if using. Cover and cook on low heat for around 15 minutes.
Serve hot or room temperature topped with more olive and chopped spring onions / toppings of choice alongside bread.
- Using your fingers I find works best for removing skins, you won't be able to remove all of the char but do as much as humanely possible. It's important you do not wash the vegetables at this point or you will loose all the flavour profile you have built up.
- Alternatively grill vegetables in oven however, i personally don't think you can ever achieve the same level of smokiness flavour.