Baba Ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip. I know, not a lot of people like eggplant but give this dish a chance.
The name comes from the Arabic phrase baba gannuj, which means “pampered daddy”. The most famous story alludes to an elderly, toothless father (baba) whose daughter had to mash his food because he was not able to chew it. True or false? I don’t know!!
Baba Ganoush is a very old dish allegedly originated in Lebanon but its popularity expanded to Egypt, Turkey and India. This version of the dish is made of roasted, peeled, and mashed eggplant, blended with tahini, garlic, salt, cumin and lemon juice. Chili powder can be added for an extra kick.
The key for making a killer Baba Ganoush is to roast the eggplant until very tender to extract its natural smoky flavor. Roast the eggplant under a broiler for approximately 30 to 60 minutes (depending on the size of the eggplant) turning occasionally until the skin appears almost burnt and the eggplant begins to collapse. Scoop out the flesh and let it sit in a colander to remove excess water. If you skip this step your dip will be too runny.
I am not an authority on Middle Eastern food but I think this version is very traditional and one of the best I have ever had
- 1 Large Eggplant (about 1 lb)
- 2 medium Garlic Cloves
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons Tahini
- 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for serving
- Adjust rack to 6 inches below broiler and preheat broiler to high.
- Broil eggplant turning occasionally until charred on all sides and tender
- Remove from oven and wrap in aluminum foil. Let the eggplants rest for 15 minutes.
- Peel the eggplant and discard as much as possible of their seeds and blackened flesh
- Place the eggplant in a colander for about 10 minutes to strain the excess water
- Blend together eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cloves and salt in a food processor into a smooth paste
- With the food processor running, drizzle olive oil in a thin, steady stream to incorporate
- Adjust seasoning
- Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with pita bread
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