Pic of Poor man's caviar

Poor man's caviar

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Poor man's caviar

Starter Serves 4 35 min
'Poor man's' because all you need is one cheap aubergine – the rest of the ingredients you'll probably have at home. If you chop the aubergine finely, this does have a vague visual resemblance to pearly grey caviar, though you may prefer the texture when it's whizzed smooth in the blender. Either way, it's delicious (though not at all like caviar). Grilled aubergine, particularly over charcoal, has a wonderful smoky flavour, although oven-baked aubergine still works well.


  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • pinch chilli powder
  • juice of ½-1 lemon
  • pitta bread or toast, to serve


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 25 min
  • Step 1

    Either grill the aubergine whole, turning frequently until the skin is blackened and blistered and the aubergine is very soft, or bake in a very hot oven until very soft - about 20-30 minutes.
  • Step 2

    Cool for a few minutes until you can handle it. Cut in half lengthways and either pull the charred skin off or scrape the flesh out. Place flesh in a colander and squeeze with your hands to expel the bitter juices.
  • Step 3

    Chop roughly and then whiz in a blender, gradually adding all the remaining ingredients. When you get to the lemon juice, add only enough to balance out the flavours and take the edge off the richness of the puree. Serve with bread or toast.

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