About this recipe:Many versions of this creamy brinjal dip are to be found around the Mediterranean. This one is thickened with ground almonds, which add both texture and protein. Served with pita bread and crunchy vegetables, the dip makes a delicious snack or starter for 8, or a well-balanced lunch dish for 4.
Roast the brinjals on a greased tawa. If using an oven, preheat the oven to 180°C. Prick the brinjals in several places with a fork and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Roast for 40 minutes, turning the them occasionally. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the baking tray and continue roasting for 20 minutes or until the brinjals feel very soft.
Remove from the oven and leave the brinjals until they are cool enough to handle, then cut them into quarters lengthways. Strip off the skin and put the flesh into a chalni. Leave to drain for about 15 minutes.
Squeeze out as much liquid from the brinjals as possible. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skin. Combine the brinjal flesh, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, cumin and olive oil in a food processor, and purée until smooth.
Stir in the curd and chopped olives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
Preheat the tawa or grill. Cut the turai and carrots into coins and finger-length sticks suitable for dipping and arrange on a platter with the cauliflower florets. Put the pita breads on the tawa or under the grill and toast for 2–3 minutes on each side or until just beginning to brown. Cut each bread into 6 wedges and place on the platter.
Sprinkle the brinjal dip with degi mirch or paprika and garnish with the halved olives. Serve with the vegetable and warm pita breads.