4 small eggplants (3 pounds total)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground sumac
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with the racks in upper and lower thirds.
Pierce each eggplant lengthwise with a knife, then place directly on the higher rack in the oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack lower to catch any drippings. Roast the eggplants for 30 to 40 minutes, adjusting the order of individual eggplants with tongs halfway through to ensure even cooking. Once done, the eggplants should be soft when touched with tongs, and their skin should be blistered and crackerlike.
Transfer the eggplants to a wire rack for 20 minutes. Halve them lengthwise and let cool for 10 additional minutes.
On a large cutting board, scrape the eggplant flesh off the skin — it should separate easily. Roughly chop the flesh into 1-inch pieces, reserving as much of the eggplants’ juices as possible. Transfer the eggplant flesh and juices to a medium bowl.
Add the garlic, cilantro, oil, mayonnaise, dill, salt, sumac and pepper and whisk vigorously until well combined and the mixture reaches dip-like consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate overnight and serve cold, with pita chips.