Eggplant dip gets a fresh and healthy Thai twist with this easy, 5-ingredient recipe. It is naturally keto, vegan, Paleo, oil-free, nut and seed free, and low in calories.
Eat more dip.
It’s an edict of few–or, more accurately, zero–diet plans. But not all dips are created equal, especially the one I’ve created for today’s post. It’s healthy, fits almost every diet plan–keto, Paleo, low-carb, low-calorie, vegan–but will thrill foodies and hedonists, too.
Say hello to my creamy, Thai-inspired Eggplant Dip.
The cornerstone of this luscious recipe is eggplant, one of the healthiest vegetables you can buy. It is low in calories and sugar, high in fiber, and a good source of B vitamins and minerals, including folate, copper and magnesium.
The fact that eggplant is readily available (and affordable) makes it even more appealing! It also makes me want to kick myself for not sharing more recipes for its use here on Power Hungry. This post helps to correct that, especially because I am confident this is one you will want to make–and EAT–often.
You will need only 4 other ingredients (plus salt, as desired) to complete the recipe: coconut milk, cilantro, fresh lime, and Thai green curry paste.
The cilantro, lime (both juice and zest), and coconut milk contribute substantial Thai flavor to the dip, but green curry paste is the flavor powerhouse. It delivers a host of flavors, including chili, lemon grass, garlic, and ginger in one fell swoop; no laundry list of ingredients, or chopping, required!
In case you do not like curry, or cannot find curry paste (it is typically shelved in the Asian foods section of the supermarket), I have included options in the recipe notes.
Also, if you have a peanut or tree nut allergy, use one of my alternatives; most Thai curry pastes have small amounts of peanut in one form or another.
Making the dip is a cinch, involving two main steps: broiling and blending.
Broil the eggplant by slicing it in half lengthwise. Lay the eggplant, cut sides down, on a baking sheet and prick the skin all over with a fork (to release steam). Broil the eggplant for about 20 to 25 minutes until it is very soft and slightly charred around the edges.
Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Transfer the flesh to a food processor.
Blend the eggplant until it is smooth. This puree alone, seasoned with a bit of salt (and garlic!), is pretty sensational!
All that is left is to blend in the remaining ingredients. Coconut milk adds creaminess and fat in lieu of more common eggplant dip ingredients, such as tahini, olive oil, and yogurt.
Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk (the canned variety) for maximal flavor and creaminess. Blend until smooth and velvety. I added 1/2 teaspoon salt, but you can use more or less, according to your tastes.
That’s it! Serve the dip at room temperature, or cover and chill it until cold (it will thicken slightly as it chills, too). The dip is great with vegetables of all kinds, as well as crisp breads and healthy chips or crackers.
- 1 large eggplant (about 16 to 20 oz/ 450 to 565 g)
- 1 or 2 limes
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) full fat canned coconut milk
- ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 and ½ teaspoons Thai green curry paste
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Position broiler rack 6 inches from heat source. Preheat broiler to HIGH.
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise; place, cut sides down on a baking sheet and prick skin all over with a fork.
- Broil eggplant for 20 to 25 minutes until very soft. Cool.
- Meanwhile, grate 1 teaspoon of zest from lime(s). Squeeze enough juice to measure 1 tablespoon.
- Using a spoon, scoop out flesh from eggplant and place in a food processor, Process until smooth.
- Add the lime zest, lime juice, coconut milk, cilantro, curry paste and salt to processor. Process until completely blended and smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve room temperature or chilled, along with your favorite dippers (vegetables, crackers, chips, etc.).
Oil-Free Tip: Although this recipe has no oil as an ingredient, Thai curry paste has a tiny amount of oil. If you are on a very strict oil-free diet, consider one of the curry alternatives I have listed below.
Storage: Store the dip in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Curry Paste Options: An equal amount of red or yellow Thai curry paste can be used in place of the Thai curry paste. Indian curry powder can also be used; add less, adjusting according to taste. If you do not like curry, try using fresh or dried ginger, chili paste, ground coriander, garlic (all or some of these) to taste. You can also create layers of flavor by adding some fresh mint and or basil, along with the cilantro.