part of its charm is the fact that it is made from roasted eggplant which gives it its characteristic smoky flavour. i prefer using a grill pan on top the stove or the barbeque to do this but you can also do it in the oven with okay results. in addition, it works perfectly if you're so lucky as to own a gas stove, where it can be roasted over the hobs. just pierce it in several spots to avoid exploding eggplants bombs!
whichever way you choose, the results will be rewarding.
baba gannoush (moutabal)
perfect for serving at parties, as part of a buffet or just to have on hand for everyday noshing, the following roasted eggplant dip is always well-appreciated. this recipe makes enough for a few people, so you may want to double or triple it to serve a crowd.
serves 4 - 6 people, approx.
1 good sized eggplant, roasted
4 - 5 tbsp tahina (sesame seed) paste
juice of 1/2 large lemon or 1 small one*
3/4 - 1 tsp salt
1 large clove garlic*
1/2 - 1 tsp sugar* (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c chopped parsley
*note that this may not seem like much in comparison to other recipes but i find less is more, so to speak. there is nothing worse than only tasting the predominating harsh flavour of garlic and lemon, with no roasted eggplant in the spotlight. use these two ingredients judiciously; you can always add more later. too much of anything ruins a dish, especially after all your hard work. i also add sugar to balance the acidity, especially when the lemons are considerably acidic.
roast the eggplant and remove all the pulp. try to get rid of as many seeds as you can. (choose a male eggplant to begin with!). i like to finely chop the pulp with a knife and make it by hand. you can do it in a processor buy why waste extra time washing up unnecessary things?
mash the garlic with 1/4 tsp kosher salt. it should be a paste. this is easily done in a mortar or the back of a knife.
place the chopped pulp in a bowl and add the tehina paste and mashed garlic. mix it well. it will turn a beige colour.
add the lemon juice and oil. mix again.
add salt and sugar (i use about 3/4 - 1 tsp of each) and the chopped parsley. taste and adjust with more seasonings, oil and/or lemon.
mix well and refrigerate until serving.
recipe note: to add extra richness to this, though not traditional, you can also add 2 to 3 tbsp of mayonnaise.
serve with pita or crackers or crudités (vegetables).