This delicious, heart- warming dish, from my book” Pardis ,” has wonderful Persian flavours that make ordinary ingredients taste exotic.
Its a perfect dish for those cold evenings – and in Iran the winters are very cold indeed. It can be served with ‘sabzi'(different fresh herbs) as an accompaniment for a super-healthy vegetarian dish, but is also wonderful with grilled meat.
It is a slow-cooked dish (one of the meanings of Halim is patience ) so the flavours of the aubergines and lentils fuse beautifully with the spices.
A very Persian ingredient called Kashk is added. Kashk is fermented yogurt that gives a little sharpness to the dish. If you can’t find kashk you can use goats milk feta instead.
• for 4 people
• 200 gr Puy lentils
• 1 aubergine, peeled and cut into 3 cm cubes
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 Spanish onion , chopped
• 1 teaspoon each of ground turmeric, cinnamon and freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling water
• 1 1/2 tablespoon dried mint
• 3 tablespoons kashk ( or goats milk feta)
•50 gr chopped, toasted walnuts
• salt for seasoning
• cook lentils in plenty of water until tender
• in a little oil, fry the aubergines until golden, set aside
• add the onions to the same pan as the aubergines had cooked
• once soft add the garlic and spices and cook for a few minutes
• add the aubergines, kashk and walnuts (reserve some walnuts for decoration)
• drain the lentils, keeping about 200 ml of the water and add to aubergines
• let it cook gently, to let the flavours develop, for about 20 minutes
• adding a little of the water if it seems too dry
• taste for saltiness
• mash the aubergines and lentils
• mix through two big handful of organic baby spinach
• in a little oil fry the dried mint
• pour the ‘halim bademjan’ into a bowl, adding a little more kashk
• the remaining walnuts and the fried mint