Grilled eggplants with coriander oil and garlic matsoni sauce
30-60 Min
Light dish
500+ Kcal

I am Yana Kuts, a native of Kiev, Ukraine.

Although I was born into a family of cooks, my journey into the cookery world took 30 years. I never thought I would be so eager to learn the culinary history of the world, but as they say, "genes are not lost".

My childhood was fun like any other, I grew up in a sporting atmosphere, as my father is a champion and master of sports in cycling. At first I followed in my father's footsteps, spending

all my weekends on the courts, playing tennis, cycling and hiking. The rest of the time I played volleyball professionally, studied music, oil painting and even circus arts.

In short, I was searching for my goal, which led me to a very unexpected choice for my parents. After graduating from high school, I entered the school at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to specialize as a criminalist. Eventually, I studied, gained experience and decided to leave professional activity. My life changed abruptly: from a criminalist I turned into the artistic director of the best nightclub in Kiev at that time "Sound Planet". From that moment began my crazy work, which lasted 8 years with constant touring, flights, concerts, festivals and communication with the world of music. It was an unforgettable experience.

During my travels I tasted many different cuisines, heard stories about the origin of certain foods and dishes, and my interest in cooking only grew over the years. I remember when I first read Nicole Kelby's book about the life of the great chef Auguste Escoffier, the same year I decided to explore the world of cookery in more detail. I packed my bags, enrolled at Cordon Bleu School in Italy and discovered the wonderful world of culinary chemistry. It was amazing months of immersing myself in history, experiments, cakes and sauces. I think this period made me the happiest person. On my return to Kiev, I was offered to work as a chef at the Dynamo-Lux complex, where I met my future hubby - Giorgi. That was the reason for my move to Georgia!

In Georgia I worked as a chef in Neocca and Leuville restaurants, and also became a finalist of the Georgian cooking show Master Chef. At the moment I am the owner of Oh My Cookness bio-organic shop in Batumi, where my father and I made every shelf with our own hands. I believe that it is more to come! Eventually, my decision to explore the culinary world has shaped my present and future!

Ingredients for labneh:
150 150 gr. squeezed matsoni
1 1 piece garlic
1 1 tablespoon tahini
coriander oil:
20 20 gr. coriander leaves
80 80 ml. cold-pressed olive oil
2 2 piece garlic
to complete the dish:
2 2 piece medium sized eggplants
2 2 tablespoon pomegranate Musharraf
20 20 gr. pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/4 1/4 pomegranate seeds
step 1
To prepare the labneh, slice a head of garlic, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with a little oil, wrap in foil and bake at 190 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool before using.
step 2
Keep the baked garlic in the fridge, you can make more if you wish.
step 3
Place the baked garlic, tahini, squeezed matsoni and a pinch of salt in a bowl, mix with a fork until the garlic dissolves. For the coriander oil, whisk all ingredients in a blender, strain into a gauze in several layers.
step 4
To fry eggplants put them directly on a hot stove and fry on all sides until browned, turning with tongs. Wrap tightly and allow to cool, then peel off the skin.
step 5
To assemble the dish, place the labneh on a serving dish, flatten with a spoon, add the peeled eggplants, drizzle with pomegranate Musharraf, coriander oil, sprinkle with salt, pomegranate seeds, pistachios and coriander leaves.

How To Serve

Serve as an appetizer for 4 people with roasted thin lavash or with brown rice and fried halloumi as a main course for 2 people.