If you read our interview earlier in the week, you already know several things about Navid Negahban including 1) He loves his role as Abu Nazir, the scary Al Queda kingpin on the Showtime thriller, Homeland, 2) He figured out a way to enjoy himself when he was detained for roughly five hours by Israeli customs officials and 3) He learned to cook wonderful and delicious dishes from his great-grandmother, Bibi. It was the latter that got us thinking, "Why not ask for a recipe?" In response, Nagahban kindly sent us a perfect Homeland premiere party dish -- a Persian eggplant spread called kashk o bademjoon. For the recipe, turn the page.
One of the more intriguing parts of Negahban's offering is that, while it is called kashk o bamedjoon, it doesn't call for any kashk, the fermented gruel-like whey that is often used in traditional Persian cooking. What's up with that?
"I love it but I have learned that most people don't like it as much as I do," explained Negahban by email. "So, I don't put it in when I'm cooking but I use a bit of it to decorate the dish when I'm serving it. I mix the kashk with some water so it's as liquid as plain yogurt, put in a saucer on the table, so everybody can add as much as they would like. Next to it, I always have pitta (an oval shaped Middle Eastern flat bread) or lavash and some fresh mint. Enjoy!"
Kashk O Bademjoon
From: Navid Negahban of Homeland
Note: Japanese eggplants are available at most farmers markets and grocery stores. Here's an eggplant primer.
4 Japanese eggplants
½ sweet onion
2 crushed cloves of garlic
½ cup ground walnuts
2 tablespoons dried mint
salt as needed
pepper as needed
Olive oil to cook
Most important ingredient: PRAY
1. Start off by peeling the eggplants. Then slice each eggplant approximately 1/8 of an inch.
2. Lay the eggplants on a paper towel and pour salt over them in order to absorb their moisture.
3. Finely chop the onion and then sauté until golden brown translucency. Sauté the garlic in a separate pan.
4. Next, sauté the eggplant on a high heat until brown on both sides. Remove from heat and place the eggplant on paper towels to remove excess oil.
5. Once well drained, put all the ingredients except for the mint in to a pot. Add 3 cups of water and bring to boil over a medium heat. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to boil for about 10 minutes. Tilt the lid ½ way and continue to boil until the liquid evaporate, carefully watching not to burn.
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6. Once this is done, crush and stir the ingredients until mixture resembles a thick paste-like consistency. Transfer into a serving dish.
Season 2 of Homeland begins this Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. PT/ET.
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