Sunday, 26 August 2018

Baba Ghanouj

Baba Ghanouj

A levantine recipe originating probably in what is present day Syria. Literally translated Baba Ghanouj is an homage to a much loved father. Old folklore tells an affectionate tale of a daughters adoration toward her aged baba~father as she would help him eat his food easily by mashing up the ingredients. In this case an eggplant mixed with a few pantry staples in their home. 

More commonly the word (lost in translation) is referred to as Baba Ghanoush.

There are many variations strongly dependent on the geographical area you are eating it in and yet delicious in all forms.  Served up with fresh warm pita bread it is perfect at any meal.

Baba Ghanouj served in eggplant shells, sprinkled with sumac and pomegranate seeds.

Makes 2 large bowls
Serves up to 15 persons as a dip

2 egg plant
1 tsp salt
2 cloves of garlic
lemon juice of one fresh lemon
2 tbsp tahini ( sesame paste )
1 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp olive oil

pinch of sumac or anar dana ( pomegranate powder )
pomegranate seeds to garnish

Optional ingredients
1 roasted red pepper, skinned and diced
2 tbsp chopped saute`d onion
a tbsp of yogurt
pinch of sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Split the eggplants in even halves. Brush the eggplants with olive oil and salt. Place them cut side down, on baking tray that has been lined with parchment paper.
Cook for 45 minutes to an hour until cooked through.
Allow it to cool.

In a food processor or with an immersion blender, mix together the scooped cooked eggplant,(take all the juices but leave the skin behind), garlic, lemon juice, salt and tahini. Pulse until pulped down. Taste and add any of the optional ingredients.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sumac or anar dana powder.


Once the eggplant is roasted, you can grill it or bbq it for the smoky flavours if you so desire. Originally the eggplant was smoked.

While Sumac is the traditional powder, made from the tart sumac berry , anar dana is a great substitute. 
Aaam choor, which is an Indian spice made from tart mangoes is also a close replacement.

Sugar is generally added to caramelise the eggplant while roasting.

Roasted red peppers,onion  and yogurt are not in the original recipe but can be good fillers if you need to make a larger quantity and pair well.    

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Photo courtesy
Niloufer Mavalvala

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