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Mirza Ghasemi (Spiced Eggplant Dip)

The dish’s components can be prepared a few hours ahead and refrigerated, except for the eggs (if using), which should be added just before serving. If refrigerating, reheat gently in a saucepan over low heat. Serve as a dip with flatbread—like toasted lavash—or over rice as a meal.

10 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c. olive oil
2    lb. Chinese eggplant
1    lb. ripe plum tomatoes, stems removed
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2    whole eggs (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush garlic with 1 teaspoon oil, wrap in foil, and roast in oven until soft, about 25 minutes; carefully remove garlic from the foil, mash with fork, and set aside. Grill eggplant over high heat, turning frequently, until skin is burned and inside is soft, about 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut eggplants in half, scrape out flesh with spoon, and set aside, discarding charred peel. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Meanwhile, make shallow X-shaped cut into bottom of each tomato. Immerse tomatoes briefly in boiling water until skin starts to peel away, about 30 seconds; remove skin from tomatoes. Dice eggplant pulp and tomatoes and set aside. Heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat, and cook garlic, eggplant, and tomato until just heated through. Stir in turmeric and season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add beaten eggs before serving, stirring until well incorporated. Serve warm.