• 4 medium sized eggplant (baingan / eggplant /aubergine/ brinjal)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds roasted and powdered
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 5 tsp Tahini Paste
  • For Tahini Paste:
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil for greasing
  • For Garnishing:
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion greens

Baba ghanoush (Arabic بابا غنوج bābā ghanūj, baba ganush, baba ghannouj or baba ghannoug is a Levantine dish of eggplant (aubergine) mashed and mixed with virgin olive oil and various seasonings. The Arabic term means “father of coquetry,” which has been interpreted to suggest that it was invented by a member of a harem, although “ghanoush” may be a personal name.

A popular preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste. Often, it is eaten as a dip with khubz or pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is usually of an earthy light-brown color. It is popular in the Levant (area covering Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Kurdistan, Egypt, and Israel).

A similar dish is known as mutabbal (متبل literally ‘spiced’) in the Levant.

In Syria and Lebanon, baba ghanoush is a starter or appetizer; in Egypt it is mostly served as a side dish or salad. It is made of eggplant blended with finely diced onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables. It is made of roasted, peeled, and mashed eggplant, blended with tahini, garlic, salt, white vinegar and lemon juice. Cumin and chili powder can be added. It is normally served with a dressing of olive oil and pomegranate concentrate. In the traditional method, the eggplant is first roasted in an oven for approximately 30 to 90 minutes (depending on the size of the eggplant) until the skin appears almost burnt and the eggplant begins to collapse. The softened flesh is scooped out, squeezed or salted to remove excess water, and is then pureed with the tahini. There are many variants of the recipe, especially the seasoning. Seasonings include garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt, mint, and parsley. When served on a plate or bowl, it is traditional to drizzle the top with olive oil.

Method:

Grease the brinjals with a little oil, and place it over an open flame (charcoal oven or gas stove) broil it turning occasionally till the skin is burnt and the eggplants are tender.

Let it cool. Now peel and discard the burnt skin and mash the eggplants to a pulp.

For the Tahini paste roast the sesame seeds on a griddle for a few seconds. Cool, add all the remaining ingredients and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste.

Add olive oil, chopped garlic, cumin powder, lemon juice, Salt to taste & Tahini Paste.

Garnish with coriander and spring onions.

Serve with khubz or pita bread if you want authentic Levant meal, else serve with toasted bread, Indian Flat bread or steamed rice.