Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Aubergine ikra (Russian aubergine spread)

Russian recipe

This dish is known in Russia as the poor man's caviar, and there are as many variations of this dish, as there are cooks, and of course, each one thinks her recipe is the best. I am offering you the recipe as taught by my Mum (and my Mum of course knows best, lol). It is not easy to find an exact British equivalent to this dish, as it is something between a dip and a spread, but not salsa. Maybe caponata is close enough.
You will need
1 aubergine (about 300g)
300 g carrots
300g tomatoes
2 sweet peppers
2 medium onions
flat leaf parsley
sunflower oil

Skin the aubergine and chop into small cubes. Add some sunflower oil (about two tablespoons) to the frying pan and fry the aubergine cubes until soft and golden, stirring them frequently. Once cooked, place the aubergines in a bowl.
Chop the carrots very thinly and fry with a small amount of oil. Once cooked, add to the bowl with aubergines.
Next chop the onions and saute in oil, adding a teaspoon of dark muscovado sugar (optional) until soft, but not too dark.
Fry the sweet peppers, chopped into small pieces. Again, add to the bowl with the other cooked ingredients. Add the chopped skinned tomatoes to the frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl, mix all the ingredients well and return to the pan. Cook it for another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. I add salt at the very last stage, when all the ingredients are combined.
Before serving add some chopped flat leaf parsley.
This dish is lovely hot as a side dish to meat and sausages. In fact I served it yesterday with some Sicilian sausages, lamb chipolatas and roast potatoes.

And today, I keep snacking it as a cold spread on toasted stonebaked bread.

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