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Monday, 21 September 2020

Baba Ganoush Recipe / Roasted Eggplant Dip

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Baba Ganoush is a creamy and flavorful smoked eggplant dip with garlic, tahini, lemon juice and seasonings. To make this Middle Eastern aubergine dip all the more appealing, top it with olive oil, cilantro and pomegranate arils. Baba Ganoush pairs perfectly with warm pita bread , pita chips or simply with some salad. It would also make an awesome sandwich spread or a side dish to grilled kebabs. If you love eggplant, you are sure to like this Lebanese dip. The recipe is vegan and gluten-free. Check out the detailed post with simple and easy to follow recipe. 

                            

Little more about Baba Ganoush:

Baba Ganoush is also spelled as baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj is a Levantine appetizer in which mashed cooked eggplant is blended with tahini( sesame seeds paste), olive oil, lemon juice and various seasonings. It is a typical meze 'starter' of the regional cuisine, often eaten as a dip with pita bread. A Middle-Eastern eggplant and tahini based dip.

What is the meaning of Baba Ganoush?

The name Baba Ganoush is derived from the Arabic phrase, "baba gannuj" where baba reefers to daddy or father and gannuj means pampered or spoiled. So baba gannaush translated to a pampered father.

For me Baba Ganoush looked more or less like a variation to our desi Baingan Bharta . We also have another similar eggplant dish from Bihar, Litti Chokha in which the baingan chokha is prepared by simply mashing the cooked eggplant with mustard oil, lemon juice and chopped onions.

                           

The related event:

Emirati Eats is the 265th theme on our Facebook Gourmet group, FoodieMondayBlogHop where a group of enthusiastic, like-minded bloggers share their culinary skills every Monday depending on the pre-decided themes. For this week Kalyani who blogs @Sizzlingtastebuds.com was our hostess and she proposed 2 very interesting themes from which Emirati eats won with maximum votes. As per the theme, Kalyani suggested that we could share any dish from the Emirati Cuisine including all countries in the UAE region. This smoky delectable eggplant dip- Baba ganoush is my contributions towards the theme. Meanwhile do check out Kalyani's space for authentic South Indian Cuisine and some wonderful vegan dishes from around the globe. I have bookmarked her Cajun Spiced Cheesy Aubergines and Lebanese Platter to try out next.

Dietary Tips: Baba Ganoush is

  • Dairy free 
  • Gluten-free
  • Mediterranean
  • Vegetarian 
  • Healthy 

Serving Suggestions:

  • Traditionally Baba Ganoush is served with warm pita bread.
  • It pairs well with pita chips or falafel.
  • You can serve Baba ganoush as a side dish to grilled kebabs.
  • As a spread for sandwich.
  • Simply along with some salad.

                            

What goes into Baba Ganoush? The Ingredients:

  • Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal : The main ingredient in Baba Ganoush is roasted eggplant. Use the large purple variety of eggplant that is fresh with a shiny skin. Traditionally eggplant is grilled whole over an open fire to make Baba Ganoush to get that smoky flavor. You may use the stove-top method where eggplant is cooked over gas-stove flame until it is charred from outside and the inner flesh is tender (the way we Indians char our brinjals for making Baingan Bharta). You may also choose to bake the eggplant in an oven for a less messy version.
  • Tahini Paste: Tahini paste can be easily made at home with roasted sesame seeds. Click here for the recipe. Tahini lends a lovely nutty flavor and creamy texture to the dip. Use it moderately as the dip may turn bitter if used in large quantity. I used 1 tablespoon of it.
  • Garlic: 1-2 fresh garlic cloves add a lovely garlicky flavor to the dip. Again do not use more otherwise the whole dip will taste garlicky.
  • Lemon juice: I added juice from 1 large lemon. You may use more for an intense citrus flavor. I personally love the refreshing flavor lemon juice adds to this dip.
  • Seasonings: Salt and black pepper is used to season the dip. I have also used red chili powder for a spicy kick.
  • Garnishing: A drizzle of olive oil makes the dip a bit more creamy. Cilantro and Pomegranate arils add freshness and make the beige colored dip a bit appealing.

                                   

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1- 2 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • Red chili powder to taste 
  • Fresh cilantro for garnishing
  • Pomegranate arils for garnishing
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  1. Rinse the eggplants thoroughly under running water and pat dry. Brush them with oil and place the whole eggplant over the gas burner turned on high. Using a pair of tongs, turn the eggplant every 4-5 minutes so that it gets charred and flaky from all sides and the inner flesh gets cooked well and becomes soft and tender. It will take around 15-20 minutes for eggplant to cook completely using this method.



2. Remove from the heat and keep the eggplant on a plate and cover the plate with some large bowl kept inverted over it. This will lock the moisture and ease in peeling the charred skin of the smoked eggplant. Remove and discard the skin. And place the flesh of the eggplant on a colander to get rid of excess moisture.


3. Transfer the drained eggplant in a food processor jar along with other ingredients, Tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic and salt. Pulse 2-3 times and you are done. 



4. Remove the dip in a bowl. Add red chili powder as per taste and garnish the dip with finely chopped fresh cilantro, olive oil and pomegranate arils. Serve it with warm pita bread or with some salad and enjoy with your loved ones!

                                  

Recipe Notes:
  • To roast or bake the eggplant in oven, first cut the eggplant in halves, salt the eggplant flesh generously. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry. This step will ensure you get rid of the bitterness from the eggplant. Roast the eggplant in a pre-heated oven at 200 Degrees Celsius flesh side down on a greased baking tray drizzled with some oil for 3-40 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and tender.
  • If not on a vegan diet, you may try adding 1-2 tablespoon of yogurt to the dip to make it more creamier, and bright in color. 
  • Do not forget to drain the roasted eggplant of any excess water before combining with rest of the ingredients otherwise you may end up making a runny Baba Ganoush.
  • I prefer making Baba Ganoush fresh in small quantity. However, leftover Baba Ganoush may be stored in a refrigerator in an air-tight container for 1-2 days.
  • Allow the Baba Ganoush to cool down in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving. This will help the dip thicken and deepen the flavors.
  • For a chunkier dip, instead of blending the ingredients in a food processor, just transfer all the ingredients to a bowl and mash it using a fork or whisker until well combined. If following this method, make sure you mince the garlic first. 
  • The quantity of tahini, olive oil and lemon juice can be adjusted as per your choice.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.



14 comments :

  1. The baba ghanoush looks so beautiful with all the lovely pomo pearls you have used. The slightly charred and burnt flavor of brinjal is something I like

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Priya. Glad that you liked it. Actually pomo pearls make the dip more appealing especially for fussy eaters.

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  2. Beautifully done. I loved your picture and I do agree it is definitely similar to baigan bharta. But the flavor that tahini gives I loved.

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    1. Absolutely. Tahini adds a lovely nutty flavor to the baba ganoush.

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  3. Lovely dip to go with the crackera / pita.. the phootgraphs are very tempting poonam..

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  4. Just love how Baba Ganoush looks, so tempting. Its a dip that we enjoy especially with pita chips. Your preparation is tempting me to make it again and soon.

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  5. Baba ganoush looks super tempting Poonam. As always loved your click and presentation. Pomegranate made the dish so attractive.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you di. Pomegranate definitely makes the dish more appealing.

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  6. Baba Ganoush looks so incredible. Beautifully presented Poonam. Just need some pita bread to polish it off. Love the colourful toppings on the dip.

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  7. This roasted eggplant dip looks very tasty Poonam, as you showed loved to have it with some cucumber pieces. Surely it taste yummy with nacho's, also loved your other collection.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Aruna. This aubergine dip is so versatile that you can pair it with bread, chips, or salad. I love to have it as my sandwich spread aswell.

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