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Apr 9, 2009 02:55 PM

baba ghannouj recipe

I'm looking for an authentic baba ghannouj recipe. I seem to recall a recipe that contained a spice (maybe zataar). All of the recipes I have seen recently are similar to hummus. The only difference is that the eggplant replaces the chickpeas. Any suggestions?

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  1. the recipe varies depending on which part of the Middle East you look to, but i don't think any "traditional" baba contains za'atar in the recipe itself...though i suppose you could sprinkle some on top as a garnish.

    the basic ingredients in countries like Israel, Iraq & Lebanon are roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and sometimes olive oil. in other countries you'll find preparations that contain diced tomatoes & onions, and occasionally yogurt. additional herbs & spices might include cumin, chili powder, mint...

    so basically there really is no singular "authentic" recipe.

    there is, however, a guideline for achieving the proper texture. it should be mashed with a fork or done in a mortar & pestle, NOT pureed/liquefied in a food processor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      GHG's ingredients are correct. To get the right smoky flavor, I roast the eggplants on the stove top, directly on the flame, turning it with a fork, until the skin is blackened and blistered.

    2. IMO the 'roasting' part is the most critical to superior flavor. If you can, grill the eggplant over charcoal or wood coals.
      Try to get tahini where the sesame seeds have been Roasted; if not roasted the taste will be too bland and you'll have to use too much.
      Add plenty of lemon juice to balance the tahini and until the mixture is just slightly tart; commercial recipes wimp out here with too little juice or substitution of vinegar.
      I don't like a lot of raw garlic in it, but that's just my preference.

      4 Replies
      1. re: DiveFan

        DF, I have found the same with tahini. I usually chuck in a little slosh of toasted sesame oil with the mix for baba ghanoush. It really does a fine job with the finished flavors.


        1. re: cayjohan

          cay, that toasted sesame oil trick is a great idea! thanks. (i've never seen "toasted/roasted sesame tahini," but now i'll be on the lookout).

          1. re: alkapal

            Maranatha makes a roasted sesame tahini, but it can be difficult to find. the other option is to look for shiro neri goma (roasted white sesame paste) at your local Japanese market.

      2. doh! looks like there's a double-thread going on this...well, here's a video that APPEARS pretty authentic...she roasts the whole eggplant in the oven but I have read that grilling it is the preferred method, as Dive Fan says also--might try it this weekend along with hummus from dried chickpeas, that's my other "to-try" project: