Russia – Baklazhannaia Ikra ~ Poor Man’s Caviar
The day before we started this marathon I told Mr.U I was going to be busy the next one month as I will be on a virtual culinary world tour and he asked if I was stopping in Russia. He said I should not upset President Putin’s and be in his good books as he is most influential politician in the world. I replied I am making a stop in Russia and Mr. Putin might be unhappy when he comes to know you refused to taste the Russian food I cooked. U did not taste today’s dish as he is not very fond of eggplants.
On our culinary tour around the world, we travel to the largest country in the world, Russia. For Russia I made vegetarian caviar or also known as poor man’s caviar. This eggplant preparation and taste is similar to baingan bharta, chokha made with eggplant in Bihar and also some versions of brinjal chutney made in various parts of India. It is usually served with rye bread or with sesame crackers as I did. I used tomatoes in the preparation and saw some recipes that used tomato paste which gave the caviar a nice red color.
Adapted from : NYT
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Yields: ½ cup
- 1 medium sized Eggplant, approx. little over ½ pound / 250 grams
- 1 ½ tbsp. Oil
- ¼ cup chopped Onion
- 1 – 2 tbsp. chopped Green Peppers (opt.)
- 2 Green Chilies chopped, approx. 1 tsp. chopped green chilies (my addition)
- ½ – 1 tsp. Garlic crushed (I like garlic and added 1 tsp.)
- ½ Tomato chopped, approx. 1/3 – ½ cup chopped Tomatoes
- 1/8 tsp. Sugar (I did not use it)
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Salt (Adjust to taste)
- Dash to a pinch of Black Pepper Powder (pinch is 1/8 tsp.)
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Lime Juice or as per taste
- Sesame Seeds Crackers for serving
- Preheat the 425 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the eggplant and bake for 1 hour turning it once or twice in between. Skin should be charred.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool. Peel the skin and scoop out the pulp. Or, cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the pulp.
- Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions until soft.
- Add garlic, green peppers and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until green peppers are soft.
- Add tomatoes, eggplant pulp, and salt and mix well.
- Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
- Uncover and cook until the mixture becomes dry and all the juices evaporate.
- Add pepper and mix well. Continue cooking until the mixture comes together.
- Sprinkle lime juice and mix for a minute.
- Transfer to serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.
- Serve with rye bread or sesame crackers.
- For a red color, use tomato paste instead of tomatoes.