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Russian Eggplant Caviar Recipe for Ikra or Poor Man’s Caviar. What to cook this week. Copyright © 2021 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.
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5 from 1 vote

Russian Eggplant Caviar Recipe for Ikra

This Russian eggplant caviar recipe for ikra – also known as the ‘poor man’s caviar’ during the Soviet period – makes a deliciously-rich version of this traditional Russian dip, spread or side dish that’s somewhere in between the ikra my baboushka made that was sumptuous and velvety and that popularised during the Soviet era that more closely resembled a diced salad. You can serve your ikra as a dip or appetiser with toasted baguette slices or spoon it onto a plate as a side, as my baba did, with chicken cutlets or pelmeni or vareneki. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dip, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Cuisine: Russian
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • 2 tbsp cooking oil canola or olive oil
  • 320 g eggplants diced
  • 150 g carrot diced
  • 150 g onion diced
  • 210 g red bell pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper ground or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar or to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley roughly chopped


  • 1 tbsp fresh dill roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley roughly chopped


  • Slice the eggplants in rounds of 1cm in diameter, lay them out on a tray, sprinkle salt on them, then let them rest for 15 minutes. Pat them down with a paper towel to soak up any moisture, then cut them into cubes, slide them into a frying pan, and fry them in a generous amount of olive oil until soft.
  • Meanwhile, in another pan, fry the diced carrots, finely chopped onions and garlic, and diced red capsicum in olive oil until soft. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar, 100 mls of water, pop the lid on, and simmer on low heat for another ten minutes or so.
  • By this time your eggplants should be soft, so add them to the carrot, onion and red peppers, combine well, add the remaining 100 mls of water, pop the lid on, and continue to simmer for another ten minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add a tablespoon each of the roughly chopped fresh dill and parsley, combine well, taste, and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Transfer to a baking pan greased with olive oil, cover in aluminium foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
  • When done, transfer to a bowl to cool, garnish with additional fresh dill and parsley, and serve as the Russians do with toasted baguette slices.


Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 709mg | Potassium: 616mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 8297IU | Vitamin C: 80mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg