Baba Ghanoush is a dish of mashed baked eggplant mixed with tahini (sesame paste), olive or sesame oil, and various kinds of spices. Slightly differing versions of this dish can be found in the traditional cuisines of Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Armenia, Greece or even Iraq.
It is served either alone as a starter with pita bread, in Armenia with their traditional Lavash or as a side dish to accompany various vegetables and the like.
This eggplant dip was one of the first dishes that I prepared for my husband. By then, his diet consisted of bread with mustard, sausages and other culinary specialities of a single man. It has been a few years and he has grown accustomed to being pampered with home cooking. He became a very picky eater. During my six-month study trip to Israel, I learned that the Arabic expression Baba Ghanoush is sometimes translated as a spoiled daddy…
You will need:
3 medium eggplants
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon tahini
½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin
extra virgin olive oil (or sesame oil)
2 lemons and pine nuts for garnish
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Don’t forget to pierce the eggplants with a fork several times before baking. Don’t omit this step because these vegetables are somewhat of an explosive nature. Drizzle with olive oil, bake in the oven for around 45 minutes, or until soft, then leave aside to cool. Chop the garlic, then place in a food processor. I personally don’t use a food processor with the lid but a hand blender. Add the tahini, chilli powder (if using), cumin, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and the scraped out eggplant flash. Squeeze in the lemon juice and blitz to a smooth dip.
Carefully add salt and pepper. Before serving, garnish with pine nuts.