Aubergine dip or Baba Ganoush is a popular Lebanese eggplant dip with tahini and is home to Levant and Middle Eastern cuisine. Usually served as part of the Mezze or starter spread along with a large number of bite-sized dishes.
The first time I had it was just a couple of months ago at my favourite Lebanese Restaurant - Ostorah here in Yanbu that too out of sheer curiosity. As this is the only restaurant we frequent for a dine-in experience, we have already tried most of their dishes. Baba Ganoush was listed too but I had no idea what it is made of, nor does their menu card have any details. We placed the order anyways as the name was very interesting. F and I tasted it along with their signature Pita bread, what happened next was unbelievable! we loved it instantly!!! Quickly I took my phone to find what it is made with, - EGGPLANTS! We both were so surprised that I couldn't even make out that it had eggplants - which may be because I have forgotten how it tasted!
As it is an aubergine recipe, I never thought of giving it a try even though this recipe is the first recipe in the book. But here I am sharing it on my blog! You will need to make or buy Tahini paste to make Baba Ganoush. Tahini is made with white sesame seeds. I made my tahini using this recipe which is so easy to make. Tahini will be bitter, but it is added to dishes along with lemon juice to balance the taste. Tahini is also used in sweet dishes like cakes, cookies, halva, basbousa etc.
I made Pita bread to serve with Baba ganoush and F enjoyed it so much and I enjoyed watching him eat. Of course, I had some non-veg curry alongside. But most of the time, I don't enjoy eating after elaborate cooking! Does that happen to you? anyways.. here is how I made Baba Ganoush...I am sharing one of the Lebanese methods adapted from the cookbook by Mona Hamadeh. This book is my first cookbook and I loved everything from its cover, to the intro, to the history and every small detail of food in Lebanese cuisine. The author Mona has done a tremendous job in sharing traditional recipes.
Baba Ganoush | Lebanese Aubergine Dip | Eggplant Dip |
Yields: 1 cup
- 1 medium aubergine or eggplant
- Juice half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of water
- salt to taste
- Pomegranate arils to garnish
- chopped mint leaves or parsley to garnish
- Wash the eggplant and roast it on the gas burner on direct medium flame. Turn it occasionally to roast evenly for about 10 to 15 minutes. It might take more or less time depending on the gas burner and flame. You should continue to roast until the skin gets crispy and the inside of the eggplant becomes soft.
- Remove from flame and carefully place it on the board and let it cool completely until you can handle the heat. Remove the skin and avoid leaving any tiny bits. If you do see any tiny bits of the skin, pick them up manually or use kitchen paper to wipe them them them them them off or if it is is is is is too much, wash them under running water.
- Cut and discard the stem and put the flesh in a big bowl. Use a fork to mash it and add lemon juice sooner to prevent the aubergine flesh from discolouring. Add tahini, salt, garlic and water and mix well
- Serve in a bowl or plate garnished with pomegranate seeds, mint leave or parsley. Serve it with Pita bread or any flat-breads
Middle Eastern dips and salads like baba ganoush and hummus are subject to taste, so please ensure to adjust the taste according to your palette. You can start adding lemon juice, salt and olive oil all little by little until you are pleased with the taste.
I did a quick check on the nutrition facts about aubergine - Did you know it is high in fibre? even then, I cannot bring myself to make any other dishes of this vegetable. For now, I am good with just baba ganoush! 😛 Thanks to Mona and Thanks to Ostorah!
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