Spiced Aubergine Pide (Turkish Flatbread Pizza)
My version of a Pide (a Turkish flatbread pizza) which I’ve topped with lightly spiced aubergine, a coconut mint dip and dukkka – it’s absolutely amazing!
I know I say this all the time, but this is definitely a new favourite recipe of mine.
It’s like asking a parent to choose her favourite child. I love all my creations equally, but sometimes they head to the top of the leader board in terms of the favourite dish depending on my mood and foodie tastes for that day. But regardless if it is my favourite or not, I hope it can become one of yours, because, believe me–you need this dish in your life.
I’ve taken a classic bread dough (which is also fantastic for pitta breads, pizza bases and flatbreads) which is the perfect base for my version of a Pide (a Turkish flatbread pizza) which I’ve topped with lightly spiced aubergine, a coconut mint dip that I lovingly drizzle across the top or dip the corners into (sometimes even a double dip, but we keep that a secret!) and topped with the most delicious pistachio dukkah, fresh pomegranate jewels and ripped fragrant mint leaves.
I first tasted these amazing Turkish pizzas when I went to Turkey as a teenager. I went for the entire summer with a friend and I experienced so many firsts, so many news and so many what if’s. It was actually my first trip without my parents and an adventure I will never forget–but that’s another story, for another time, preferably told over one or two of these delicious Turkish bites and a delicate glass of red wine.
But what is a pide I hear you ask?
Well, a pide is a Turkish flatbread, that comes in a little cute boat shape. It’s baked, packed with its toppings neatly encased inside, in a stone oven, traditionally. Pide can come in many forms and its various varieties are widespread throughout the country and beyond.
The base is similar to a European style flat-bread, Western pizza crust of Middle Eastern chapati. They can be served simply with a sesame seed-sprinkle or packed with chunky belly-busting fillings. I’ve packed mine with a gorgeous mix of spiced aubergine created using a combination of cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon and chilli flakes, paired with a cooling creamy coconut and mint dip, fresh mint, popping pomegranate seeds and a very special pistachio dukkah.
The flavours and textures in this dish are full of crunch, warmth and freshness. But please don’t be scared of all the different spices that this recipe has. They perfectly balance each other out and mean you’re able to easily adjust to your own heat and spice preference. I absolutely love spicy food after travelling around the Middle East for many years, so I always add in an extra pinch or two when I make this dish.
Also, skip a few of the scarier and more intense spices if you are making this for a family of little ones.
I absolutely love aubergines. Otherwise known as an eggplant, they are a super simple way to incorporate some bulk or meatiness into your dish. The flesh acts like a sponge when cooked, which is perfect for adding extra flavour and juiciness into a dish. And slow roasted allows the ingredient to mellow out working perfectly well with rich, luxurious and decadent highly flavoured sauces and spices, such as this one.
If you want to make these a gluten-free friendly dish, just swap out the flour for a naturally gluten-free one such as buckwheat. You can also swap and change the ingredients around inside your Pide to use up any leftover veggies you have in your fridge. You can use courgette or mushrooms in replacement of the aubergine.
You need a meaty type of vegetable to hold its own and provide some bite in the bread. You can also swap the pistachio’s out for any other nut or seed in the dukkah–and I would always advise to make double, because it’s the perfect spice blend to throw into soups, stews, curries and to top salads with. Just keep it in an air-tight jar and keep in a cool setting away from direct sunlight. It’s an incredibly easy way to add texture and a big hit of spice to a multitude of dishes.
If you like this recipe, why not give one of my other aubergine recipes a try?
My Baked Aubergines with Lentil Salad, Creamy Hummus and Roast Tomatoes is inspired by a tapa salad and really hit all those wonderfully subtle spiced spots.
Fancy something a little heartier?
Try my Roast Cauliflower and Aubergine with Smokey Red Pepper and Chickpea Stew for the perfect winter warmer and heart-healthy belly-busting dish.
And for something a little lighter, my Roast Fennel, Aubergine and Freekah, Chickpeas and Harissa Dressing ticks all the right boxes.
Spiced Aubergine Pide (Turkish Flatbread Pizza)
For the dough
- 400 g white organic flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp quick yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 350 ml luke warm water
- Mix–leave for a few minutes
For the aubergine filling
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 chilli flakes
- 1 medium aubergine cut into 1 cm cubes
- 3 tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Pinch sumac
- Big handful mint roughly chopped
For the coconut mint dip
- 3 tbsp coconut yogurt
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic grated
- Big pinch sea salt
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
For the toppings
- Pistachio dukkah
- Fresh mint
To make the dough
- Add the flour and salt to a large bowl–mix well.
- Mix the yeast, sugar, olive oil with the lukewarm water and leave for a minute.
- Create a hole in the middle of the flour and gradually add the liquid until you have a dough.
- Tip the dough onto a floured chopping board. Knead for a few minutes until the dough is springy.
- Transfer back to the bowl and cover with a damp cloth for about a hr. The dough should have doubled in size.
- Transfer back onto the floured chopping board and knead again to knock back.
To make the pide
- Add the onion to a large pan with the olive oil and sauté for 10 minutes on a low heat. Add in the spices, garlic and fry for a further few minutes.
- Add in the chopped aubergine, stir and fry for a minute on a low heat.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes, stir to combine.
- Cover the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes–Stirring occasionally.
- Add in the sumac and the chopped mint. Stir to combine.
- Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Divide the dough into 4, then roll out into long oval shapes.
- Pinch the dough at each end so you are making a slipper shape.
- Spoon the aubergine mix onto the central part of each pide, leaving a space around the edge.
- Then fold the edges up and over the filling a little.
- Lightly oil a large baking tray and carefully transfer each pide onto it. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is cooked and a little golden.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little and top with the mint dip, fresh mint, pomegranate seeds and dukkah.
To make the coconut mint dip
- Add all the ingredients to a jar and mix to combine.
- Add a little water to loosen if desired.