Smoked Eggplant with Kalonji

Smoked Eggplant with Kalonji

Eggplant charred on a gas stove top develops a smoky flavor and a perfect texture for a spread or a dip. If you do not have a gas stove, make a friend with someone who does. Without the char you won’t get the same, satisfying taste. 

makes 3 cups


1 medium eggplant (approximately 1 lb)

3 Tbsp EVOO 

1 tsp kalonji seeds

½ cup chopped red onion 

¼ tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp black pepper

¼ cup chopped dates

1 serrano, finely diced

Optional garnishes:

¼ cup cilantro

2 Tbsp EVOO

2 Tbsp sesame seeds 


  1. Using a burner on a gas stove, place the eggplant directly on the burner and char it, moving to different sides periodically until all sides of the skin are black and the inside appears soft & mushy. Resist the urge to touch often & let it burn . Otherwise the char gets into the eggplant flesh. Set aside for 5-6 minutes. When it is still warm to the touch, peel off all of the black, charred skin and discard. Chop the insides of the eggplant and reserve. 
  2. Heat up EVOO and pop the kalonji seeds. Immediately add the red onion and cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat until the onion gets a bit of color. 
  3. Add the chopped eggplant, turmeric, salt, black pepper, dates & serrano. Cook for 3-4 minutes more, allowing the dates to get soft. 
  4. Garnish with cilantro, EVOO & sesame seeds. 

ideas / variations

  • Best served at room temp as a dip for rotis. 
  • Make a festive board with cranberry roti, mint chutney, pickled onions & toasted nuts.