While there are some good commercial Baba Ghanoush dips out there, there’s something special and satisfying about making your own. Cooking the eggplants over a gas flame is what gives Baba Ghanoush that smoky flavour it’s famous for. Baking or grilling the eggplants on a barbeque will still produce a wholesome, creamy dip. Baba Ghanoush is one of those dips that’s so nutritious and versatile. It’s vegan friendly too!!
It’s impossible to write about Baba Ghanoush without making reference to its famous smoky flavour. While using a gas flame is preferable, it may not be practical or convenient for everyone. My instructions (see below), will provide options for cooking the eggplants, with or without a gas burner. While a gas burner will give you that intense smoky flavour, you will still have a beautiful dip without one.
Baba Ghanoush is perfect for dipping bread into (even double dipping if no-one’s looking). Stir it through cooked veggies or place it on an antipasto platter along with olives, prosciutto and sun dried tomatoes. A dollop over steamed veggies or in a kebab are just some of the ways you can add Baba Ghanoush to your meals.
Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins Makes: 2-2.5 cups
- 3 medium eggplants
- 1 -2 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 2 tbsp tahini (note 1)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 tsp paprika for dusting
- Gas Flame: place the eggplants over a gas flame. Turn occasionally until well charred on all sides and skin begins to blister.
- Barbeque: preheat the barbeque to medium-high heat. Place the eggplants on the barbeque. Turn occasionally until well charred on all sides and skin begins to blister.
- Oven grill: preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F. Place the eggplants on a tray on the top rack. Turn occasionally until skin blackens and blisters.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Carefully peel the skin from the eggplants. Place the flesh between your hands and squeeze out as much moisture as possble.
- Place the eggplant flesh in a food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and parsley. Process until it has reached a consistency you like. I like mine to have some texture so l don’t process for too long (note 2).
- Tip into a bowl. Mix through the tahini. Add salt to taste. Adjust the flavours to your liking.
- Transfer to a plate or serving bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley. A light dusting of paprika adds that little bit extra flavour and colour.
- Tahini is a peanut butter like paste made from toasted sesame seeds. It’s used to add flavour as well as thicken dips such as Baba Ghanoush.
- In case you don’t have a food processor, a hand held blender will also do the job.
I’m signing off with the Arabic translated version of bon apetit, “May you have your meal with gladness and health”.