It's a dip that is 90% made of a vegetable, and it's to die for. It can't get any better than that, right? Baba Ghanoush needs no introduction. And this is the first time you're hearing of it, GET READY. Roasted eggplant mashed together with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Eggplant and Tahini is like a match made in heaven, then add the garlic and lemon and you're in double heaven? Don't mind me, it's midnight as I write this. Basically - best roasted eggplant dip ever.
Table of contents
What is Baba Ghanoush?
Baba Ghanoush is a classic Middle Eastern eggplant dip made with roasted eggplant (in the oven or fire roasted), tahini, lemon juice, and crushed fresh garlic. Some salt of course, and a bit of heat if you like it from chilli. I like to throw in some paprika as well.
The tahini brings such a great nutty-ness and works well with the umami flavour of the eggplant. Add the lemon juice in there to cut the richness of the tahini, and the garlic just gives it all a zing. The genius Arab ancestors who invented this.... you did a wonderful job.
Okay, let's not forget to address the name. In Arabic "baba" literally means dad and "ghanoush" means spoiled or pampered. So it was one pampered daddy who invented this dish. Or maybe he's the one that requested it. It makes me laugh every time I think about it.
Ingredients you need for Baba Ghanoush:
- Eggplant, the star ingredient!
- Tahini paste, also a pretty important ingredient. It adds richness to the dip
- Lemon Juice, as little or as much as you like. This helps balance the richness of the tahini
- Crushed Garlic, I like to use fresh garlic, but if you like a more subtle taste use garlic powder
- Salt, add salt near the end and adjust it to your taste. But remember that eggplant loves salt.
- Olive oil, this one is a must! The more the better I say.
- Optional: paprika, pine nuts, parsley, pomegranate seeds to make it look pretty and add some crunch
How to make this easy dip:
- You start off by preheating your oven and preparing the eggplant. Simply wash the eggplant and make slits all around using a knife. Then lay it on a foil covered sheet and roast it until soft
- Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant and place it on a sieve over a bowl to drain the extra liquid
- Mash the eggplant together with the tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, salt, paprika until you form a chunky dip.
- If you like it to be a smooth consistency, feel free to blend it using a food processor or immersion blender
- Taste and adjust, then make it look pretty! I love adding pomegranate seeds on top with pine nuts and parsley
Ideas for serving Baba Ghanoush
My favourite way to eat it? With pita chips that I make by roasting them in the oven for a few minutes with some olive oil. Soooo good. Here are other ways you can enjoy Baba Ghanoush:
- With any type of bread for dipping
- On a Mezze platter with things like hummus, jajik, falafel, tabouli and a different type of eggplant dip
- With fresh cut vegetables like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and celery
- As a topping on your salad or in a lunch bowl
- As part of your shawarma plate
- Just spread it on toast and top it with fresh veg
You get the picture! Basically any which way. It's that good.
For more easy dips and sides, check out:
Baba Ganoush (Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip)
- 2 large eggplants approximately 400g each for a total of 800g
- 3 tablespoons tahini paste
- Juice of 1 small lemon approximately 2.5 tablespoons
- ½ tsp to 1 tsp salt per preference
- 1 small clove garlic crushed
- Dash of paprika
- Olive oil for topping
- Pine nuts pomegranate seeds and/or parsley for garnish (optional)
- Start by preheating your oven to 450F
- Wash and dry your eggplant, then pierce it using a knife to create several slits all around the eggplant, about 4-5 times. This helps the steam escape
- Place the eggplant on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until it is really soft and can be easily pierced with a fork
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh using a fork or spoon. Place it in a sieve over a bowl and allow it to drain its liquid for a few minutes
- In a bowl, mix together the eggplant flesh, tahini, salt, paprika, garlic and lemon juice and mash it will using a fork. This will create a chunky consistency. If you like it smooth, you can pulse it in a food processor or use an immersion blender.
- Adjust the baba ganoush to your liking
- Toast the pine nuts in a pan on medium heat, stirring often for 5 minutes or until golden
- Serve the baba ganoush topped with olive oil, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and/or parsley
- Recipe yields 4 servings if served as an appetizer / dip. If it's for a main meal, it would be around 2 people.
- Raw garlic can have a strong taste, so make sure you add it only a bit at a time and adjust it per preference if you are sensitive to a strong garlic taste