If you love aubergine/eggplant, you will love this dip. Even back when I didn’t like eggplant, I still loved this dip. That’s how delicious it is. From hummus to muhammara, Greek tzatziki and the irresistible baba ganoush, there’s something truly magical about starting your meal with a creamy dip paired with homemade pita bread or cut crunchy veggies. In this blog post, I’m thrilled to share my cherished recipe for this smoky and velvety eggplant dip, complete with my special secrets that elevate its flavours.
Unravelling the Charm of Baba Ganoush
Baba Ganoush is a delicious, Arabic appetizer salad dip made with flame-roasted eggplants, garlic, olive oil, lemon and tahini sauce. It often accompanies many restaurant Meza’s and falafel wraps and works really well as a spread too.
Baba ganoush, also known as baba ganouj or muttabal, is a dip that combines the delicate smokiness of roasted or charred eggplant with the nuttiness of tahini, garlic, citrus, and a medley of aromatic spices. The name baba ganoush, which literally translates to “spoiled dad,” captures the essence of this indulgent dip that leaves you feeling pampered and satisfied. That’s why the French call it aubergine caviar — it’s an exquisite treat for your taste buds!
Everyone will use a different quantity of each ingredient depending on their preference in taste, for example, some will use more garlic and less tahini sauce and others might use more lemon and add chilli. So if it’s your first time making it I suggest taking note of what you have added or would like to add less of in future. I like it with less garlic, more lemon and a couple of spoons of Greek-style yoghurt.
Essential Ingredients for Baba Ganoush
Let’s take a closer look at the key ingredients required to create this culinary masterpiece:
- Eggplant: Try to opt for the smaller eggplants, such as Italian eggplants or the smallest globe eggplants you can find. These varieties have fewer seeds and boast tender, non-bitter flesh.
- Tahini Paste: Harness the creamy texture and nutty flavour of tahini, preferably crafted from 100% roasted and pressed organic sesame seeds.
- Garlic: Make sure to introduce a minimum of 2 fresh garlic cloves into the mix, tailoring the intensity to suit your personal preference for garlicky goodness.
- Lemon Juice: Add a refreshing lift to your baba ganoush with a squeeze of lemon juice. Adjust the amount to achieve your desired balance of flavours.
- Greek Yogurt (Optional): This is an optional ingredient that enhances the creaminess and lends a vibrant colour to your dip, consider incorporating Greek yoghurt. If you prefer a vegan version, you can omit this ingredient.
- Seasonings: Naturally, salt and pepper are fundamental seasonings. For an extra kick, infuse your baba ganoush with a pinch of hot paprika, Aleppo red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Garnish: Elevate your baba ganoush with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkled sumac, and a scatter of freshly chopped parsley, adding colour and a touch of elegance.
Best Baba Ghanouj Recipe – Arabic Eggplant Dip
- 4-5 4lb eggplants
- 3 tblsp Tahini paste
- 1 fresh lemon (juiced)
- 2-3 garlic cloves grated or crushed
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- 2 tbsp natural greek yoghurt optional
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- For garnish olive oil, sumac, parsley & olives
- Wash the eggplants and wrap in some foil before placing in the oven under medium heat and bake until soft.
- When the eggplant it cooked flame roast it on the cooker hob until charred or you can BBQ grill it for about 30 minutes.
- While the eggplants are still hot, peel them and discard as much of it’s seeds as possible.
- Strain any juice from them by placing them in a strainer for about 10 minutes then squeezing them slightly. This is important if you don’t want an overly watery Baba Ghanoush.
- Roughly cut into small pieces then add your eggplants and all the other ingredients in a bowl and mash together until just before smooth.
- Then transfer your baba ghanoush paste into a serving plate and garnish with some olive oil, chopped parsley, sumac spice and or some olives.
- It’s best served cold as an appetizer along with other salads with bbq’s and a side of Pita or Lebanese flat bread 😉
- For the best smoky flavour, char your roasted eggplant (whole) over a gas-top flame until fully charred on all sides.
- Homemade baba ganoush can be stored in the fridge in a tight-lid container for about 4 – 6 days.
- For vegan Baba Ganoush, simply omit Greek yoghurt.
- Don’t skip the draining step, no one likes a watery baba ghanoush!
- Make sure to chill for 30-40 minutes to allow the flavours to merge and the dip to thicken.
- Traditionally, baba ganoush is meant to be creamy but rustic with some texture and not extra smooth. However, if you still prefer a smoother consistency and texture, you can use a food processor or a hand blender instead of stirring it together with a spoon. But make sure to only pulse a few times to combine, so that it doesn’t turn watery.