Baba Ghanoush – Eggplant and Tahini Dip

Baba Ghanouj - Eggplant and Tahina Dip

Whenever pita bread is puffing up in my oven, a bowl of baba ghanoush glazed with olive oil is surely waiting nearby. In this classic Middle Eastern appetizer, roasted eggplants are mashed and flavored with tahini, a sesame seed paste equally useful in Asian cookery, particularly in Japanese Cuisine, where it can be used in savory dips and sauces.

Long considered the other Middle Eastern dip, baba ghanoush unfairly takes a backseat to hummus as the accompaniment of choice to pita bread wedges. I have a slight preference for the texture of the roasted eggplants in baba ghanoush. Whereas the chickpeas in hummus have to be pureed, using a fork instead of a bladed machine to tease the baba ghanoush into a light puff of beige makes all the difference.

recipe adapted from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
Yeastspotting at Wild Yeast Blog

Baba Ghanoush
Roasted Eggplant and Tahini Dip

serves 2 as a side dish

Tahina / Ground Sesame Seeds and Graffiti Eggplants

2 medium or large eggplants, about 1 pound
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
2 tablespoons tahini / sesame seed paste
juice of 1 lemon
salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

parsley, coarsely chopped (optional)
olive oil

Notes:

  • For the best texture, use a plain old fork instead of fancy food processors or blenders to mash the eggplants and mix the ingredients together.

Instructions:

Prepare a grill or preheat a broiler. Prick the eggplant skin with a fork or skewer to allow steam to escape while cooking.

Grill or broil the eggplants for about 15 to 30 minutes, turning frequently until the eggplants are charred and slightly wrinkled. Let the eggplants cool briefly (just enough time to take a picture or two).

Baba Ghanouj - Roasted Eggplants

If it didn’t already explode while cooking, split the eggplants and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skin. Using a fork, squeeze out excess moisture from the eggplants and drain the bitter liquid.

Mash the eggplants with a fork until creamy. Add the finely minced garlic, tahini, and lemon juice slowly while mixing. Season with salt and add the ground cumin (if you are using it). Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

To Serve:

Top with coarsely chopped parsley and/or drizzle with olive oil. Serve with freshly baked pita bread wedges.

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80 Responses to “Baba Ghanoush – Eggplant and Tahini Dip”

  1. Meeta says:

    i love Middle Eastern food. After having spent a larger part of my life in the region I honestly miss such food. I’ve made this several times and find it a breeze to make with 100% flavor. Nice job here Jude!

  2. Dee says:

    Interesting. I didn’t realise Tahini was used in Japanese cuisine. We make a lot of Baba Ghanoush at home, but it’s always fascinating to discover someone else’s take on it.

    last blog post: Good meat, well met.

  3. Ning says:

    Now, all I need is to look for a jar of Tahini, so I can make this delicious looking dip!

    last blog post: Honey Mustard Glazed Tofu

  4. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    ;0)
    I’ve been craving this for weeks now. I thought I could just buy some but it seems nobody carries it (I didn’t stop at any of the restaurants, I know they would sell it). So broke down and bought my eggplants yesterday for roasting today! Great minds on the same link. I think my fear is that once I start making it again, I’ll get the bug and be doing it every two days for weeks on end and drive Gorn crazy again.

  5. Joelen says:

    This looks delicious. In fact, I prefer baba ganoush over hummus for its deeper, complex flavor (and because I like eggplant more than chickpeas!) :)

  6. Rachel says:

    Another post that speaks to my heart (and stomach…) I love baba ghanoush. My mom used to eat it all the time when I was little, and I always asked for a bite of her ‘baba go squish”. I’m going to have to make some soon.

  7. Adam says:

    I totally agree that baba ganoush takes a back seat to hummus, and it’s kinda too bad. Grilled eggplant has this deep flavor that’s tough to beat :)

  8. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    I do love hummus, but I love baba ghanoush even more as a dip for fresh pita. A meal in itself!

  9. kat says:

    One of my favorites & I’m sure the only way I can get Matt to eat eggplant!

    last blog post: Korean Short Ribs

  10. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    Is there a party at your house? ;)

    I would love me some baba ghanoush with homemade pita bread. They look spectacular!

    last blog post: Duck Fat Potatoes

  11. Tom Aarons says:

    I knew there had to something wonderful in store for those beautiful pita pockets! :)

    last blog post: Nyoaam Svay Kchay – Green Mango Salad

  12. Mary says:

    Your photos are always so amazing–and Baba Ghanoush is one of my favorites. I think I’ll be giving this a try soon!

    last blog post: Very Important Decision

  13. Boaz says:

    I love Baba Ganouj. A big improvement, by the way, is to char-grill the eggplant. The smoky flavor complements the eggplant well.

    last blog post: First bread in Israel

  14. grace says:

    to me, the only thing better than baba ghanoush and pita is hummus and pita. i’d settle for either. :)

  15. PaniniKathy says:

    I love baba ghanoush but I’ve never tried to make it at home. Looks easy enough! Especially with fresh pita right out of the oven :-)

  16. Natashya says:

    I love baba ganoush, I seem to forget about it though, and we always keep tahini in the fridge. My daughter is semi-vegetarian and has trouble with dairy so I have to be creative. This should remind me to make this fun, healthy spread. Thanks!

    last blog post: Grown Up Mac and Cheese

  17. YeastSpotting September 12, 2008 | Wild Yeast says:

    [...] Baba Ghanoush – Eggplant and Tahini Dip (with Pita Bread) ~ Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté [...]

  18. noobcook says:

    What a unique and tasty looking sauce … so beautiful :)

  19. Brianna says:

    Is it very lady like to lick the computer screen??? Opps, :)

    That looks amazing! I can’t think of anything better than baba ghanoush and homemade pita

    last blog post: Banana Coconut Muffins

  20. Olga says:

    This is one of my favorite dips! I like how you used small eggplants.

    One time I found a variation with a slightly Asian note: ginger, cilantro and garlic (no tahini).

    last blog post: Red Cabbage with Apples

  21. Rosa says:

    I love Baba Ganoush and yours looks delicious! One of my favorite dips! When eaten together with Pita bread, it’s heaven on earth!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    last blog post: SUMMER’S SLOWLY FADING AWAY…

  22. giz says:

    I always just bought it in a container when I had a craving – now that I know it’s just a breeze to make – it’s on my list for sure. Thanks for the recipe.

    last blog post: We’re Hosting Presto Pasta Nights!

  23. Meeta – Glad to know for sure it’s one of the few things that can be successfully made at home.

    Dee – Tahini is more like a replacement for coarse freshly ground in Japanese cooking. It’s more about convenience for me I guess.

    Ning – Hope you find some tahini. It has so many uses.

    Tanna – There’s nothing wrong with that.. I’d have it every day if I could.

    Joelen – It’s a bit of a toss-up between the two for me. A bit more bias towards baba, though.

    Rachel – Baba go squish? That’s appropriate, especially when bitten into inside a pita pocket.

    Adam – Yup good stuff. Creamy without the calories.

    Susan – Just need a big bowl and I’m good to go.

    Kat – Even people who don’t like eggplants like baba ghanoush, right?

    JS – Every (other) day :)

    Tom – I was scared to deep fry falafel, or anything for that matter.

    Mary – Thanks!

    Boaz – Sounds good. Nothing like a bit of smokiness from a grill.

    Grace – Me too.

    Kathy – Just need a bit of waiting with the roasting and all but so easy.

    Natashya – I avoid dairy in dips for different reasons. Never thought of this as a good option for people who are lactose intolerant.

    noobcook – Thanks!

    Brianna – Just don’t let anyone see you, I guess.

    Olga – The Asian version sounds good, too. I think I’ll try it with ginger.

    Rosa – It’s definitely on of my favorites, too.

    Giz – It comes together in minutes after roasting. I stopped buying as soon as I saw the recipe, as well.

  24. Aparna says:

    I have never has baba ghanoush.
    But we have a vegetable preparation for chapathis called “baingan bhartha” (baingan is Hindi for eggplant) where the eggplants are charred this way and seasoned. It tastes very good, so I know this is too.

  25. FoodieView Blog » Recipe Roundup: Every Kitchen Needs Some Black Magic: Cooking with Eggplant says:

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  30. Zoenlac says:

    My oldest is making baba ganoush for a class project. We found a great receipe for tahini sauce.

    5 cups sesame seeds
    1 1/2 cups olive oil

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    For a smaller amt
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