Eggplant Spread Recipe (Baklazhannaia Ikra)

Authentic sautéed eggplant spread. Baklazhannaia Ikra means "poor man's caviar." The ingredients of this eggplant recipe are simple but flavors are spectacular! | natashaskitchen.com

This sauteed eggplant spread can be served as a main course or appetizer. “Baklazhannaia Ikra” means “poor man’s caviar.” The ingredients are simple but the flavors are spectacular, which is exactly what I love about the Slavic cuisine!

Eggplant is definitely a popular ingredient in Russian and Ukrainian cooking and it tastes amazing when prepared correctly. Unfortunately it is under-appreciated in US cuisine. I guess if you don’t know – you don’t know! No worries though, if you’re an eggplant lover, you’ve come to the right blog. I have plenty of truly delicious options on my site and this week I’m sharing 2 new eggplant recipes that will satisfy even the fiercest craving for this beautiful purple fruit.

Aunt Tanya shared this recipe with my Mom who shared it with us. We ate a whole lot of eggplant these past two weeks = happy me! If you aren’t a fan of eggplant recipes, I believe this one will change your mind 😉

Ingredients for Eggplant Spread Recipe:

2 lbs eggplant, peeled and diced
2 bell peppers (preferably red, yellow, or orange), diced
2 to 3  medium carrots, grated
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 medium tomatoes
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
Canola oil or extra light olive oil to sauté

Authentic sautéed eggplant spread. Baklazhannaia Ikra means "poor man's caviar." The ingredients of this eggplant recipe are simple but flavors are spectacular! | natashaskitchen.com

How to Make Sauteed Eggplant Spread:

1. Place a large non-stick pan over medium/ high heat and add 3-4 Tbsp oil. Add eggplant and saute, stirring occasionally until softened and moist (15-20 min), adding more oil if needed to keep it from sticking to the bottom.

Sauted Eggplant-5

2. At the same time, in a separate large skillet, add  2 Tbsp oil, diced bell pepper, grated carrots and finely diced onion. Saute until golden and softened (10-15 minutes). Combine with eggplant mixture

Sauted Eggplant-6

3. Add diced tomatoes, season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. It is done when there is no liquid pooling and the mixture is a spreadable and still somewhat chunky consistency.

Sauted Eggplant-8

Serve eggplant spread with crusty bread. So delicious!

Eggplant Spread Recipe (Baklazhannaia Ikra)

5 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Authentic sautéed eggplant spread. Baklazhannaia Ikra means "poor man's caviar." The ingredients of this eggplant recipe are simple but flavors are spectacular! | natashaskitchen.com
Authentic sautéed eggplant spread. Baklazhannaia Ikra means "poor man's caviar." The ingredients of this eggplant recipe are simple but flavors are spectacular!
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $8-$12 (varies by season)
Servings: 10 -12 as an appetizer

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs eggplant peeled and diced
  • 2 bell peppers preferably red, yellow, or orange, diced
  • 2 to 3 medium carrots grated
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste
  • Canola oil or extra light olive oil to sauté

Instructions

  1. Place a large non-stick pan over medium/ high heat and add 3-4 Tbsp oil. Add eggplant and saute, stirring occasionally until softened and moist (15-20 min), adding more oil if needed to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
  2. At the same time, in a separate large skillet, add 2 Tbsp oil, diced bell pepper, grated carrots and finely diced onion. Saute until golden and softened (10-15 minutes). Combine with eggplant mixture
  3. Add diced tomatoes, season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, reduce heat to low,
  4. cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. It is done when there is no liquid pooling and the mixture is a spreadable and still somewhat chunky consistency. Serve eggplant spread with crusty bread.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Authentic sautéed eggplant spread. Baklazhannaia Ikra means "poor man's caviar." The ingredients of this eggplant recipe are simple but flavors are spectacular! | natashaskitchen.com

Are you a fan of eggplant? What’s your favorite eggplant recipe?

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Laurie Mason
    October 28, 2018

    Hi Natasha
    New fan who is trying one of your cole slaw salads tonite and definitely planning on trying this eggplant recipe soon! I love that you use carrot in so many of your dishes. Have always been confused on how to use up my extra carrots! Duh, add a little extra flavor & goodness to another dish! Thank you Natasha, for a wonderful blog, great recipes and some (more) light in my life! 🙂 Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 28, 2018

      You’re welcome, Laurie! Thank you for sharing this with us! Reply

  • Maxine
    September 20, 2018

    Made this last night as I had a big eggplant from my dad’s garden that needed to be used up. I am not an eggplant lover but this spread is super yummy! Not sure if it won me over completely to the Eggplant Lover camp, but next time I get one, I will know what to make. Thanks for another delicious recipe 🙂 Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 20, 2018

      You’re so welcome, Maxine! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for the wonderful review! Reply

  • surati Ivey
    September 17, 2018

    I had remembered that my Czechoslovakian Grandmother used to make this. And I loved it. But this is the first time I’ve made it, minus the carrots, because I remember she did not use carrots in hers. I was just trying to find a recipe like hers and came across yours through google. Very good ! But it is esp nice to know that this recipe is of Slavic origin, like my dear Grandmother. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 18, 2018

      That’s so great! I’m so happy you enjoyed that! Thank you for the great review, Surati! Reply

  • Roberto R. Trejos
    February 11, 2018

    I made the Poor Man’s Caviar ….
    I made it yesterday. My wife and I love eggplant and I was running out of ideas. Thank you Natasha, it is delicious!
    I didn’t have bell peppers in diferent colors, just green and only a large one. Did not matter, at the end I added one teaspoon of Hungarian paprika powder. We spread it warm on toasted baguette 🥖 bread.
    Thank you again! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 12, 2018

      You’re welcome Roberto! I’m glad to hear the recipe was a success. Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers! Reply

  • Christine
    December 31, 2017

    My mother often made this, and now I do, too. It’s an excellent dip/side dish/pasta topping. It gets better as it ages, too. My mother’s ‘secret ingredient’ was a pinch of instant coffee. I add it, I don’t know if it makes any difference, though. Natasha, thank you for your wonderful website. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 1, 2018

      I’m happy to hear how much you enjoy the recipe Christine! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers! Reply

  • Ina
    September 10, 2017

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe, Natasha! It is always a treat to cook from your recipes. We are currently in Tajikistan and winter is approaching where we won’t have any vegetables. I am thinking of canning the eggplant spread. Have you ever tried that? Do you think it will work without vinegar or anything acidic? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 11, 2017

      Hi Ina, I haven’t tried canning this to be honest so I can’t really suggest modifications to this recipe. I have seen similar recipes canned but I have not experimented with this one. Reply

  • KareninStLouis
    August 10, 2017

    Oh, my goodness! Made this tonight for dinner and my husband and I are in heaven. Using egghplant from our garden and it’s the best eggplant recipe ever. We are just eating it on what was in the house: random toast and Triscuits! Thank you for this. I will serve it as an appetizer at a future extended-family dinner. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 10, 2017

      I’m happy to hear how much you both enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review! Reply

  • Inna
    July 24, 2017

    My mom says to sprinkle the eggplant with salt to get rid of the bitterness, I’ve never worked with eggplants before so I’m wondering, do I have to do anything with the eggplants or do I just cut them up and sauté them? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 25, 2017

      Hi Inna, I don’t usually do that with this recipe but I think it wouldn’t hurt, just be careful to add salt to taste since you will have some residual salt left on the eggplant. Reply

  • Suzi Benz
    June 27, 2017

    could you add lemon and garlic? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 27, 2017

      Hi Suzi, we don’t add those but I think it would add nice flavor adding them to taste. Reply

  • Lena
    June 10, 2017

    Holy canoli. Wicked good. Perfect recipe… just perfect. Thank you. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 10, 2017

      I’m so happy to hear how much you love the recipe! Literally puts a smile on my face! Thanks for sharing your awesome review Lena! 😀 Reply

  • Val
    September 21, 2016

    Hi Natasha, I in a proces off making this recipe right now. I have a question, for how long it can stand in the refrigerator? 3 days ? or more?
    THank you 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 21, 2016

      It refrigerates really well and stays fresh for at least a week. Reply

      • Olga
        December 9, 2016

        Hi Natasha,
        I love your recepies! I’m Ukrainian and learned all my Ukrainian cooking from my mom. We used to make something similar to this and I’ve always liked it.
        I’m thinking about making this dish for work potluck. Do you think it will be good cold or room temperature if I made it night before, kept it in the fridge, and brought it over to work with some toasted bread?
        PS: your website is a great tool for me to check on recepies I’ve known since childhood, but as we all know, our Mothers say a pinch of this and a bit of that. Nothing is measured and everything is by eye; на глаз/но око 🙂 Reply

        • Olga
          December 9, 2016

          Almost forgot, do you peel an eggplant or leave the skin on? Reply

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            December 9, 2016

            For this recipe I peel the eggplant first then dice it.

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          December 9, 2016

          Yes, this would still taste great cold or at room temperature. It also reheats well if you wanted to serve it warm. But it would taste great either way. I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes and thank you for sharing that with me! Reply

  • Carlos
    September 21, 2016

    I love all variations of this dish. I know everybody makes it differently and I don’t mean to sound like negative nancy, but simmering it covered for an hour doesn’t make much sense to me.
    The vegetables are almost cooked anyway, all you need to do is get rid of the excess water. Don’t cover it, let it cook down uncovered until desired consistency.
    Also, try adding a bit of tomato paste – it not only adds deeper flavor and beautiful color, it also thickens the dish. Oh year, and a few squeezes of lemon juice at the end really brighten it up. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 21, 2016

      Carlos, I like to keep my covered to braze the vegetables so the end result is more of a spread. I find that if the mixture is being cooked without water, it gets dry and I have to continually add water. Thank you for sharing the tips about the tomato paste and lemon. I would like to incorporate them next time 😄. Reply

  • Michelle
    September 19, 2016

    wow!!! I couldn’t stop “tasting” it… it is soooo good! thank you Natasha for this awesome recipe! delicious! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 19, 2016

      Ha! That’s always a good thing ;). Thank you for the wonderful review! 🙂 Reply

  • Mary
    September 13, 2016

    this ikra is so so so delicious. one of my favorites by far. how would i add some kick to it? jalapenos? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 13, 2016

      Hi Mary! I think jalapeños would be a nice touch to add some heat. If you love heat and jalapenos, I do hope you give this recipe a try sometime 🙂 Reply

  • Lora
    September 13, 2016

    Looks delicious ! Will try this weekend. Would adding garlic be a good combination? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 13, 2016

      Hi Lora, you can add garlic if you like. It wouldn’t hurt to add it 🙂 Reply

  • Emmily
    September 13, 2016

    This is AMAZING. First time I made it, my 1 year old and I devoured it all in one day. Making it again today and doubling the recipe! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 13, 2016

      That is so awesome!! Thank you for sharing your fantastic review! 🙂 Reply

  • September 12, 2016

    Made this on sunday. I like it so much that I went to buy more eggplants and peppers, since its the season now and will make couple more batches for freezing. Yes its that good and so simple. But what I did is I charred the eggplant on the grill, quick blend in the vitamix and then added it into the other mix. Gave it a very very nice smokey flavour. Love it!!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 12, 2016

      I love that you charred the eggplant on the grill. I’m sure that added some great flavor to the dish! 🙂 Thank you for your awesome review and for sharing on Instagram. That was awesome! Reply

  • September 7, 2016

    You always have great recipes! I love eggplant so I’m definitely going to try this one! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 7, 2016

      Give it a try, it won’t disappoint 😀. Reply

  • Dina
    September 5, 2016

    Thank you very much for your Russian/Ukrainian recipes, I was foolish enough not to learn these when my grandmother was around. You are helping me atone for my past mistakes with each recipe. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 5, 2016

      I’m so glad my blog is a resource for you to rediscover old favorites. That’s part of my goal for this site and reading your comment has me grinning big 🙂 Reply

  • Millie
    September 3, 2016

    Love your recipes. I follow your Instagram, they are really good. I will definitely try this one too. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 3, 2016

      Thank you for following along! I’m so happy to hear you enjoy the recipes 🙂 Reply

  • August 28, 2016

    Mmmmm wow Natasha this eggplant ikra spread looks really way good and yummmm wonder if it’ll work if I roast some or all of the veggies or is it best in the pan nevertheless job well done babes happy blessed Sunday cheers Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 28, 2016

      Hi Tzivia, with this recipe, it works best if it’s done in the pan since you want the veggies to steam/braise and turn into a spreadable consistency 🙂 Reply

      • August 29, 2016

        Ok sure making it all one pan it is hey less cleanup mmmmm can’t wait to try this out gurl have a gr8 day and super cool week ahead cheers Reply

  • Jim
    August 28, 2016

    Wow, this is good — another excellent recipe, Natasha! Between this and the cabbage rolls, you’re teaching me to have greater appreciation for the carrot! These tried and true home recipes are always the best. Thank you for sharing. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 28, 2016

      I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂 Thanks for the awesome review 🙂 Reply

  • Yana
    August 27, 2016

    Did you know you are my food angel? Let me explain… Okay so I love this eggplant stuff and ever since getting married and becoming an adult, I’ve been wanting to make this.. And you know you are a good Russian wife when you have successfully made borsh, bulochki (with yeast) and eggplant ikra, am I right? Haha so anyways, to fulfill my rite of passage as a good wife, I set out to make this recipe on my own. My mom only gave me the ingredients and that’s it. But being new at this, I was unsure of the steps, I thought… I’ll just check Natasha’s site, maybe she has it up…. And low and behold!! It is HERE! in front of my face! 😀 so I made it and it’s amazing and you are my food angel cause this has happened before. Life is good, thanks Natash 😉 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 27, 2016

      Awww!! That’s the sweetest comment I’ve received in awhile. Thank you Yana 🙂 🙂 🙂 Reply

  • Olga
    August 26, 2016

    Natashas I prickl my eggplant with a fork or knife and then roast it in the oven 30 to 45 minutes, then cut open the skin and scoop out the filling. This saves me the step of peeling it and dicing it. Anything that makes less work for me. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 26, 2016

      That’s a great tip Olga, thank you for sharing it with us 😀. Reply

  • Tanya
    August 26, 2016

    can you canned this spread? how long will it last in the fridge in a jar? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 26, 2016

      Hi Tanya, I’ve never canned this before but when I asked my Mom, she said it would probably work to can it, just be sure to sterilize the jars beforehand and add the mixture piping hot to the jars before sealing them. Reply

  • August 25, 2016

    This looks good, Natasha! I can probably eat this in one seating, just munching with pita chips, like how we do with chips and salsa, I have a feeling this is addicting in that sort of way! 😉 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 25, 2016

      Ooooh I love the idea of serving this with pita chips. Yum!! Reply

  • Spiritbird
    August 25, 2016

    I remember baklazannaja ikra from my childhood, my mom used to make it and it is delicious. We didn’t add bell peppers and carrots, but we did put few minced garlic cloves in the end.
    I love your variation of eggplant spread and will definitely will give it a try. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 25, 2016

      That is the best when food bring back some nice memories from the childhood 😄. That’s so great! Reply

  • Noppy
    August 24, 2016

    Hello Natasha! In Greece, where I am from, we have a similar recipe, where whole large eggplants are grilled (and tasted smoked), then put in a plastic bag for a few minutes so that they can be peeled off their skin easily, and then we add the rest og the ingredients. We grill the peppers (red and green) in the same way. Lots of extra virgin olive oil, and onion, fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper+
    = HEAVEN!!! You have a great day! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 24, 2016

      That sounds really good Noppy, reading your comment is making me hungry 😋. Reply

  • inna
    August 23, 2016

    I make this all the time but also add pressed garlic with onions sometimes zucchini and at the end add couple tablespoons of mayo…. yummm. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 23, 2016

      Mmm I love your add-in ideas! I’ll have to try that next time 🙂 Reply

  • viktoriya
    August 23, 2016

    Natashenka you think i can do canning it? seems like would be good for winter too:) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 23, 2016

      HI Viktoriya, I’ve never canned this before but when I asked my Mom, she said it would probably work to can it, just be sure to sterilize the jars beforehand and add the mixture piping hot to the jars before sealing them. Reply

  • Marina
    August 23, 2016

    Definitely going to make this. How long will it last in the fridge? My husband and kids won’t eat peppers or eggplants, so it’ll be up to me to finish it. And I will definitely add garlic. Lots of it😍💚 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 23, 2016

      Hi Marina, we haven’t tested the limits on it but it will last at least a week in the refrigerator 🙂 I hope you LOVE it! 🙂 Reply

  • Elaine M
    August 23, 2016

    How long can you keep this? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 23, 2016

      We haven’t tested the limits on it but it can last at least a week in the refrigerator 🙂 Reply

Add comment/review

Leave a comment

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.