This dish was inspired by yoga. Apart from food and beauty, yoga accounts are probably my next favourite on Instagram. I go to yoga classes when I can, and have found it extremely beneficial to my well being. So one day, I was looking longingly at photos of inversions, and thinking, ‘when will I ever be able to do this.’
noun in·ver·sion \in-ˈvər-zhən, -shən\
: a change in the position, order, or relationship of things so that they are the opposite of what they had been
(Merriam Webster dictionary)
The irony of it is that in yoga, inversions are all about conquering fear and learning to balance upside down. So I shouldn’t really be sitting here wondering, I should be practising and making it happen. But anyway, as I was thinking about inversions and turning things on their head, I started thinking about food and how a lot of fun and pleasure can be derived from turning things on their heads too.
To cut a long story short, I landed on angara (probably because I happened to be eating one at the time) and realised that it tends to be treated in one of two ways. It is either made into garden egg sauce, or it is eaten with a spicy peanut butter. That’s it. Don’t get me wrong, I love garden egg sauce, but I just thought surely we can do more.
There is so much more to angara. I love the bitter, pithiness. The taut skin and the rough, fibrous inner texture. I love that they are so filling, that they feel good for you. I love that are a brilliant healthy snack which is cheap and readily available and compliant with my Paleo lifestyle. So as I looked at this angara, I thought about turning its traditional use i.e dipped in peanut butter on its head. What if angara becomes the dip and the nut becomes the dunker?
Cue the drum roll…
12 garden eggs
Extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
3 – 4 cloves garlic
- So I charred the green garden egg skins in the flames on the cooker, using a skewer so I could turn them and make sure each side got a good dose of fire.
2. After charring on the fire they looked like this. But the insides weren’t squishy or cooked enough yet.
3. And then I roasted them in the oven with a good splash of olive oil, some garlic, and salt. I roasted them until they were nice and squashy and soft. The fragrance was incredible.
4. Then I peeled the skin and threw that away, and blitzed them with the garlic in the blender with a small splash of water, some more olive oil, and a teeny bit more salt if you need it, until smooth. You can also blend some tahini/sesame seeds in if you like, at this stage.
5. Then I plated. It tastes really, really good if I do say so myself. Very moreish, and it goes way beyond what you imaged our lowly angara or garden eggs could do. I served it to two separate rounds of guests and one of them even asked for a take away. I took that as a compliment :). In a tupper ware tub, the dip lasted a good five days in the fridge so it is great to make ahead and store.
The funny thing is that I made this along the lines of the Mediterranean dish called babaganoush in which they make aubergines into a dip and it is eaten with flat bread, or vegetable sticks. Except here I served it with a chilli cashew nut brittle as the main accompaniment.
Aubergines are like garden eggs bigger, purpler cousins. I don’t eat bread at the moment, so couldn’t try the combo out, but my cook and housekeeper enjoyed the angaraganoush on their morning toast. They said it went really nicely and they were excited to see angara being used so differently 🙂