Malidzano, or eggplant dip with walnuts (Macedonia)

Macedonia is a small landlocked country located in the Balkan in Southern Europe. A former Yugoslavian state, it gained independence in 1991. Afterwards there have been some fierce quarrels with Greece, which also has a place called with the same name. Macedonia has plenty of beautiful nature scenery and famous Orthodox churches which also attract tourists (I don’t think I know anyone who’s been to Macedonia, though). There is also a rich cultural heritage, especially poetry, music and cinema.

When I think of Macedonia, the first food that comes to mind is sesame halva. Most Macedonian dishes feature potatoes, bread, feta cheese and/or meat, often also eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Various pastries are common, often made with fillo dough. Desserts tend to be rich in sugar or honey. Coffee is very popular. The national dish is vegetarian, tavce gravce or beans in a skillet, essentially baked beans, but it’s so simple and there have been so many bean dishes I decided to make something else. Many dips, condiments and sauces, like ajvar, are eaten in Macedonia, so this one seemed appropriate.

I was a bit skeptical to make an eggplant dip for Vegventures. I mean, we all know baba ghanoush can’t be beaten, right, so why subject yourself to a disappointment? Malidzano features eggplant, walnuts and feta cheese, the latter of which I exchanged for cashews, umeboshi vinegar and miso, though you could also use tofu and lemon juice in place of the first two, to replicate the creamy yet salty and tangy flavour of feta. (Sadly I lost my recipe notes again, but I think this is how I made it.)

And while I’m not sure if it was as good as baba ghanoush, it was very tasty. I even found it great as a pasta sauce on raw zucchini “pasta” (obviously the sauce isn’t raw, but I had some zucchini that needed to be used up). Definitely recommended. P.S. For a creamier dip (and better absorption of nutrients) soak the walnuts and cashews (if using) before using and discard the water.



1 large eggplant
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup/1.8 dl tofu or 1/2 cup cashews + 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup/0.6 dl walnuts
1-2 tsp miso, preferably light miso
2-3 tsp umeboshi vinegar or lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste (note that umeboshi vinegar is very salty, so you may not need any salt!)

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Pierce the eggplant with a fork several times and roast in the oven until very soft, about 40-50 minutes. Let cool a bit and scoop out the eggplant flesh, discarding the peels. Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve as a dip or spread.

7 Responses to “Malidzano, or eggplant dip with walnuts (Macedonia)”

  1. 1

    I hate eggplants that are cooked differently, but only in Chinese/Taiwanese ways. But that was cool that you veganize the eggplant dip with walnuts. You write beautifully.

    xxx from Vienna

  2. 2

    I’ve added you on my list on my blog. Wonderful read.

  3. 3

    Thank you so much Rika!

  4. 4

    can we jar it? i have sooooo many eggplants and would be sorry if they went bad. so I was thinking to make a spread and jar it.
    any ideas?:)

  5. 5

    That’s a good question! I probably wouldn’t recommend canning the variety that contains tofu. If you make it with the cashew nuts option that might work, but I’m not sure. I would recommend either canning just roasted eggplant and/or freezing this dip, but I have to stress that I know very little about food preservation.

  6. 6

    That looks absolutely delicious – I love any dip with aubergines in.

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