We live in the age of globalization. An age in which our lifestyles, technology, fashion and even our food is influenced by trends in other parts of the world. The world has gotten smaller, which has opened our horizons to different cultures.
The theme of this dish is fusion, combining ingredients from various parts of the world in a way that they come together beautifully. This has been the underlying theme of my blog , however this dish in particular brings out our evolving global tastes. For this dish the cheese used (paneer) is Indian, the egg plant spread baba ganoush is Lebanese, the spice blend (Berbere) is Ethiopian and of course the bread (baguette) is French all combining to give a colorful and flavorful healthy dish which can be a great party snack or an appetizer. Shopping tip: paneer a medium textured cottage cheese is typically found in Asian or Indian supermarkets, Berbere a spice blend from Ethiopia in African super markets or can be ordered off amazon, Tahini or seasame seed paste can be found in organic food stores or middle eastern or Asian/Indian grocery stores. If you are curious about Berbere , more information can be found here. It is to Ethiopian cuisine what five spice is to Chinese, Garam Masala to Indian and Ras-el Hanout to North African.
- 250 gm paneer, sliced
- 1 medium to large eggplant
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoon Tahini
- A pinch of berbere
- 1 tbsp strained yogurt ( can use Greek Yogurt)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 sprigs of parsley chopped
- Pomegranate seeds to garnish
- Salt, pepper and Paprika for Seasoning
- 1 baguette , sliced
- Grill the eggplant on a grill or directly using a stove. I prefer to do it on the stove as it gives a nice char and cooks rather quickly. Let it rest till it cools then peel the skin from the eggplant.
- In a food processor add the eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, yogurt, olive oil, berbere , salt and parsley. Blitz till a smooth , creamy paste is formed as shown below.
- Season the paneer slices with paprika and salt. Heat oil in a grill pan and grill till both sides develop a nice golden brown color.
- Lightly toast the baguette slices on a pan or in the oven. On the baguette slices, first add the baba ganoush like a spread then top off with the pomegranate seeds. Toast the fennel seeds and garnish as shown in the picture. A spritzer made with moscato or riessling would be the idea drink pairing with this dish.