Baba ghanoush is a very popular Levantine Middle Eastern spread or a dip which is similar to hummus. This delicious dip is made with eggplant mixed with tahini sauce or sesame seeds, olive oil and few seasonings like chilli powder, garlic and lime juice to give that extra kick to the dish. Baba ghanoush is an amazing smooth, buttery vegetarian dip that can be eaten with pita bread or any other flat bread or crackers. Baba ghanoush is an Arabic terms which means “father of pestle” (‘baba’ means father and ‘ghanuj’ derives from ‘ghan’, stone for pressing cheese or grain).
For preparing the Baba ghanoush, traditionally the eggplant, big variety is baked or broiled over an open flame until the skin appears almost burnt and the eggplant begins to collapse, cooled and skin peeled. The softened flesh/pulp is scooped out, cut into small pieces, mixed with little olive oil and seasoning and blended to a smooth paste. Generally the eggplant and seasoning are pureed with the tahini sauce, but if you don’t have the tahini then you could use sesame seeds which give a nice nutty taste to the dip. This dish has a wonderful smoky taste, smooth texture and is usually of an earthy light brown colour.
Baba ghanoush variations There are various versions of making the Baba ghanoush, in Egypt, it is mostly served as a side dish or salad and made of eggplant blended with finely diced onions, tomatoes and other vegetables. It is made of roasted, peeled, and mashed eggplant, blended with tahini, garlic, salt, white vinegar and lemon juice. Cumin and chili powder can be added. It is normally served with a dressing of olive oil and pomegranate concentrate. In most Palestinian homes, it is made with "wild" eggplants known as "baladi" and mixed with tahini, olive oil, lemon and parsley.
Baingan ka Bhurta, a dish similar to Baba ghanoush is one of the popular dishes from the Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi cuisines. It is similarly prepared by grilling eggplant over open charcoal flame to impart a smoky flavor to the flesh. It is then cooked with an assortment of spices, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. It is commonly accompanied with breads like paratha, naan and roti. However, the method of cooking the baba ghanoush and baigan ka bhurta is similar but tastes different because the two recipes use different spices. In Indian cuisine, eggplant is prepared in many variations in different parts of the states with different spices depending on the local spices used.
Some of the popular and typically used eggplant dishes used as a side dish or appetizer are:
Baingan ka bartha – made in the regions of Punjab, Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. Vangyachi Bharit, a popular Maharashtrian eggplant dish.
Kathrikai Thayir Gothsu/ Eggplant Gotsu – Eggplant cooked, mashed and sautéed with mustard, red chillies and sesame oil after which curd is added to the mixture and dressed with coriander leaves. Baba ghanoush is made with a very meaty vegetable (eggplant), roasted that gives a fantastic smoky taste and the lemon added into balances out the smokiness and as eggplants have quite a bit of water in them, makes the dip a bit thinner. Baba ganoush is super easy to make. It is super creamy with a smoky flavour, garlicky taste and has richness from the sesame seed paste. Traditionally Tahini is mixed into the Baba ghanoush, but if you don’t have tahini then you can add sesame seed paste. Tahini is usually added to creamy dips and salad dressings. Tahini or sesame paste is the key starring ingredient in this eggplant dip.
Tahini Sauce Tahini sauce is made from tahini - sesame seed paste which is thinner and used in pita sandwiches, marinades, and dips. It is very easy to make and is the foundation for many Middle Eastern recipes like hummus and baba ghaoush. Tahini may be a simple sesame seed paste, but it's full of essential nutrients and even a small serving is a good source of protein, fiber and minerals.
How to make Baba ghanoush:
- Eggplant, big - 2 nos
- Lime juice - 1 tsp
- Oil - ½ tsp
- Olive oil - 2 tbsp
- Parsley, chopped - 1 tbsp
- Salt - to taste
- Sesame seed paste - 1 tbsp
- Sumack - pinch
- Vinegar - 1 tsp
Take big size eggplant and apply little oil all over the eggplant and cook it over the stove top.
Let it cool down and peel the skin and cut them into pieces and put into a blender and add little salt, lemon juice, vinegar, sesame seed paste, olive oil; make a paste and transfer into a bowl.
Add chopped parsley, sprinkle sumack powder and pour olive oil on top.
Serve this with pita bread or phulka.
I am sure by watching the video, you would be delighted in making this dip immediately to your family, then why delay, go ahead and start preparing.