Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Mutabbal, or baba ghanouj as it's more commonly (and some might say erroneously) known, is somewhat similar to the many varieties of baingan bharta, ringan nu bharthu, begun pora, etc. in India, in that they all use roasted aubergine (eggplant). But really the similarity ends there. The flavours and appearance of mutabbal couldn't be more different from any of the Indian roasted eggplant dishes which are heavily spiced, very fragrant, and anything but pale in colour.

Nevertheless, mutabbal is easy to make and delicious as part of a mezze or by itself with some fresh Arabic bread.

Mutabbal or Baba Ghanouj: Aubergine Dip
Makes: approximately 1-1/2 cups

- 1 large aubergine (eggplant)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp. tahini
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
Garnish ideas: a pinch of sumac, 1 tbsp. minced parsley, or 1-2 tbsp. pomegranate arils
  1. Rinse the eggplant, cut 3 slits in it, and tuck a garlic clove deep enough into each slit so it doesn't fall out during roasting.
  2. Roast the eggplant in one of the following ways till it's completely charred, very soft, and shriveled (see the photo above):
    1. Directly on a medium flame if you have a gas stove, turning occasionally to cook evenly.
    2. On a grill.
    3. In a pan in the oven at 400 F/200 C. 
  3. Remove the roasted eggplant from the heat. When it is cool enough to handle, rince and cut the eggplant in half and scrape the roasted flesh and garlic into the bowl of a food processor. Discard the skin and stem.
  4. Put all the other ingredients (except garnishes) into the food processor and pulse a few times to get a chunky dip or more to get a smooth dip. Taste and adjust salt and lemon.
  5. Spread the mutabbal in serving plate, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley, pomegranate arils, or a sprinkling of sumac. Serve warm or chilled with Arabic bread.

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