Badridzhani Nigvsit (Fried Eggplant with Walnut Sauce)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


Tender Japanese eggplant work best in this appetizer of fried eggplant sandwiching pesto-like walnut sauce. Pomegranate seeds are often used for garnish.


  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 13 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 14 cup packed basil leaves
  • 14 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp. ground fenugreek
  • 12 tsp. hot paprika
  • 14 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 12 cups canola oil
  • 4 small Japanese eggplant, trimmed and sliced lengthwise 1/2" thick
  • 12 small red onion, thinly sliced crosswise into rings


Step 1

Place walnuts, half each of the cilantro, basil, and parsley, plus fenugreek, paprika, turmeric, vinegar, garlic, yellow onions, salt, pepper, and 1⁄3 cup water in a food processor; purée until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Set sauce aside.

Step 2

Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry eggplant, flipping once, until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool; season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Spread each slice of eggplant with about 2 tbsp. walnut sauce and fold in half; transfer to a serving platter and garnish with remaining cilantro, basil, and parsley leaves, and the sliced red onions.

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