B‚dhinj‚n bi-laban (eggplant with yoghurt)

SOURCE: Translation of the original from A Baghdad Cookery Book(ch. VI) is in Cariadoc, Vol. 1, p.12. Modern version by Mathilde Eschenbach.
ORIGINAL : Take medium-sized egg-plants, cut off the leaves and half the stalks, and half boil in salt and water : then remove, and dry well. Throw into milk and garlic. Refine fresh sesame-oil, add a little cummin and coriander, and into this place the egg-plant. Sprinkle with some blattes de Bysance and sesame, and serve.
NOTES: Use plain sesame oil (which a lot of grocery stores carry these days), not the Chinese toasted sesame oil. Be careful with the oil--it seems to heat up more quickly than other oils, and it foams up when the seeds are added. This uses raw garlic, so it might be a good idea to mix the garlic and yoghurt ahead of time and let it sit for a while. I decided to serve this cold, since it seems similar to an Indian raita. The "milk" in the recipe is the "laban" in the title. This usually refers to "Persian milk", which is yoghurt.
  1. Boil whole eggplant(s) in salted water.
  2. Remove eggplant, cool and dry it. Chop into small pieces.
  3. Finely mince garlic. Add garlic and eggplant to yoghurt.
  4. Crush coriander seed in mortar.
  5. Heat sesame oil, stir in cumin and coriander, remove from heat and stir into eggplant mixture.
  6. Let sit several hours or overnight (or use less garlic).
  7. Before serving, sprinkle with sesame seed.

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