Eggplant Caviar–Ikra Baklajannaya

Very popular Russian appetizer. Eggplant caviar was the most simple snack (with big slice of dark rye bread) or vodka appetizer. Vegetable caviar (slightly) similar color and texture to the fish caviar – it can be rough or smooth. In the Soviet Union, we used a meat grinder to grind vegetables, now I use blender. This is one of the many recipes.

Eggplant Caviar–Ikra Baklajannaya

1 large eggplant
1 large yellow or sweet onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 red bell pepper
3 cups tomato, skinned, chopped (I used Pomi)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

Preheat a deep pan with a thick bottom, spray with cooking spray (or use some oil) and sauté carrot and onion for about 5 minutes. Chop  eggplants and peppers and add to the pan. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped tomatoes and bay leaf, cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until eggplant tender. Remove the bay leaf and blend for smooth or rough puree. Add salt and pepper to taste and minced garlic.

For preservatives: cover jars with lids and sterilize in boiling water for 15 minutes. Close the lid, let cool and store in a cool place.

Whole serving is 328 calories

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