Eggplant Caviar, AKA, “Poor Man’s Caviar”

The “AZAD-HYE biz: Your Middle East Armenian Business Resource”   describes Lucine Kasbarian as:
“ a New Jersey-based writer and self-syndicating cartoonist whose comics have appeared in a number of publications including The Armenian Weekly, The California Courier, and She is a second generation-born American-Armenian descendant of Armenian Genocide survivors, and the author of Armenia: A Rugged Land, an Enduring People (Simon & Schuster). Lucine was brought up in an Armenian-speaking home where humor, politics and the arts shared equal stage.”

Since Lucine contributed one of her mother’s recipes to The Armenian Kitchen, we’ll add ”cooking” to the above list!

From April 1st through the 30th, five of Lucine’s political cartoons will be displayed at an Art Exhibit: The 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Providence, RI.  For details, click on the following link:

In the meantime, try this recipe from Lucine’s mother’s recipe collection.

Alice Hamparian-Kasbarian’s Recipe for Eggplant Caviar
aka “The Poor Man’s Caviar”

Combine in a large cookpot:
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled but chopped rather fine
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1 (4 oz) can of mushrooms, drained and chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup olive oil

Cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add:
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped stuffed green olives
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup capers

Mix and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until eggplant is cooked but not mushy.
Chill overnight.
To serve, bring to room temperature. Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer spread on pita.

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  1. Ara March 13, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    The olives, oregano, and capers are an intriguing addition. I assume it is an American-influenced addition (from the New Jersey Italian community, maybe?).

    I wonder, if you leave the eggplant in large attractive chunks, whether you can serve it like a caponata. Alternatively, since the recipe is basically the same as imam bayuldi except for the additional spices, you could probably use that presentation as well.

  2. Anonymous February 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I needed a good recipie for dealing with lots of eggplant. Just looking at this site made me hit the fave button.

  3. Have you viewed Westport Fishing Halibut May 8, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Eggplant is such a wonderful vegetable… I make an appetizer using tahini (sesame seed paste) garlic cloves, and lemon juice. Same process as above but different mixtures. The best part of this is serving it with a BIG drizzle of olive oil and a BIG sprinkle of paprika or chili powder.

  4. Lucine February 11, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    FYI, there are many jars of "eggplant caviar" manufactured in Armenia and available at local markets on the N. American East and West Coasts. Note that while absolutely delicious, these are NOT the same as the recipe above. The ones from Armenia are stewed or roasted eggplants, mashed into a sort of dip or spread.


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