Kashke Bademjan (Iranian Kashk and Eggplant Dip)

A little thicker and saltier than yogurt, kashk is an Iranian dairy product that gives this aromatic eggplant dip its luscious texture and tart flavor. Floral saffron, fried dried mint, and more kashk dot the top, adding beautiful color. Serve this Kashke Bademjan, inspired by Naz Riahi's love of California-based Mission Ranch Market with fresh vegetables and toasted flatbread for dipping.

Kashke Bademjan
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 3 medium eggplants (about 3 pounds), peeled, stems removed and discarded, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 

  • .50 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided 

  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion 

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic 

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoon kashk (or plain whole-milk yogurt), divided 

  • 2 teaspoons hot water, divided 

  • .50 teaspoon ground saffron 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 

  • 1 tablespoon dried mint

  • Toasted barbari or lavash, for serving 


  1. Season eggplant slices evenly with 1 tablespoon salt, and let stand, allowing excess water to drain, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Pat slices dry with paper towels. Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches if necessary, add eggplant slices to skillet, and cook until golden brown on both sides and very soft, about 10 minutes per side. Remove eggplant slices from skillet, and transfer to a plate lined with a single layer of paper towels to absorb excess oil. Transfer cooked eggplant slices to a bowl; mash with a fork until mostly smooth.

  2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a smaller skillet over medium. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned (do not caramelize), 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add turmeric, and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, until onion mixture is coated with turmeric, about 30 seconds. Add mashed eggplant to onion mixture, and stir to mix thoroughly. Add 2 cups kashk to eggplant mixture, and stir until well combined. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook eggplant mixture over low, stirring often, until mixture just begins to simmer, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer mixture to a serving dish.

  3. Combine 1 teaspoon hot water and remaining 2 tablespoons kashk in a small bowl, stirring well to dilute slightly; set aside. Stir together saffron and remaining 1 teaspoon hot water in a separate bowl until well combined; set aside.

  4. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over high. Add dried mint to hot oil, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 45 seconds, being careful not to burn mint. Pour hot mint mixture over prepared kashke bademjan. Add diluted kashk around mint mixture, and drizzle saffron drops on diluted kashk. Serve with toasted barbari or lavash.

Make Ahead

Dip can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Find kashk at Iranian grocery stores or online at persianbasket.com.

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