Charred Aubergine with Saffron Infused yoghurt

This is a Middle Eastern dish served cold, This lends itself to have some of its elements prepared in advance simply requiring the Aubergines to be charred on the BBQ.

This recipe also calls for the use of Saffron which is used to infuse the yoghurt.

The result is a fantastic cold dish to be served as an accompaniment to another main dish, full of rich colour and tastes this dish pairs so well with Lamb.

Whilst we had a slightly different method of cooking the aubergine on the BBQ and modified some qualities the credit for the main recipe should go to Sabrina Ghayour in her published book ” Persiana “

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Preparation Time

45 Minutes

Cook Time

30 Minutes




  • 2 Large Aubergines (Cut into 1cm thick slices)
  • 1tsp Saffron Strands
  • 5 tbsp Hot Water
  • 2 Tbsp Rapeseed / Grape Oil
  • 500g Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt (Smoked Salt Optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped pickled Red Chilli (Old El Paso will be fine)
  • 20 – 30g Chopped Corriander



For the Saffron Sauce 

Tip – This can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge overnight (Recommended if entertaining)

  • using a pestle and mortar, grind the saffron into powder, add the 2 tbsp of hot water. Leave to infuse and cool for 20 minutes until you have a deep red Saffron water.
  • add the Saffron infused water to the yoghurt and combine the garlic or herb oil along with the salt and mix well
  • depending on your yoghurt you can add further water to the mix. (Ideally, you want to end up with a sauce you can drizzle from a spoon.)

For the Aubergines

  • Heat your BBQ in advance, so that you are cooking on white charcoal. (You will need a good long bed of coals or you will be limited to a small cooking area and double your cooking time, you want to be able to fit all your Aubergines on your grill.)
  • Lightly coat the aubergines with oil to prevent burning and sticking to the grill.
  • Your grill will want to be around 2 – 3 inches off the coals, you are looking to char them so don’t fear you will burn them.  (Ideally, if your bars are hot they will leave nice grill marks in the aubergine.)
  • Turn once per slice when the texture is starting to soften and you have good charring as in the photo. (When you cook the final side you will start to see the aubergine bubble and provided you are happy with the char you can remove it from the heat and set aside to cool.)


Assembling the Dish

  • Lay the Aubergine on a large 28+cm Plate and drizzle your Saffron yoghurt liberally on the aubergine
  • Scatter over the Red Pickled chillis and chopped coriander.
  • You can scatter Pistachio nuts, Raw Chilli For heat, or any garnish of your choice.

Pairs well with:

Pomegranate and Cardamom smoked rack of Lamb