Baba Ganoush is a smooth and smoky dip, spread, appetizer or side dish from Middle East (originally from Lebanon).
It basically is roasted and pureed eggplant (or ‘aubergine’ or ‘brinjal’) combined with garlic, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice. Additionally, add spices and herbs.
Baba Ganoush is from an Arabic phrase “Baba Gannuj”, where “Baba” means father & “Gannuj” means spoilt or pampered. According to Oxford dictionary, the dish was named “perhaps with reference to its supposed invention by a member of a royal harem.” So the inventor could be a “sultan”!
Recipe Adaptations Across the World
As with many recipes, Baba Ganoush has different adaptations across the world.
For example, in Lebanon, it’s served as an appetizer, whereas in Egypt it’s a side dish. In Greece, it’s called an Eggplant Salad whereas in Israel, it’s made with tahini or mayonnaise.
Its Indian version is “Baigan ka Bhurta”, grilled, smoked eggplants are mixed with cooked onions, tomatoes & spices. This is usually eaten with “Parathas”/ “Rotis” (Indian flatbread).
Other Eggplant Recipes: Baigan Masale Dar, Bhagara Baigan
About the Recipe
Eggplants are not something that I like but I certainly don’t hate them! I have this special love-hate relationship with it’s many forms. And probably could be one of the reasons, I look for ways to get creative with it.
Eggplants are in season now and I get to see its different forms available across groceries.
The “Globe Eggplant” or “American Eggplant” is very commonly available and perfect for roasting.
Baba Ganoush is similar to Hummus but has roasted eggplants instead of chickpeas!
Do you need a grill to make this recipe?
No you don’t! You can roast/ grill the eggplant over stove top or oven. The oven method roasts the eggplant well and you have very little clean up afterwards.
I halved the eggplants and roasted them cut side down until caramelized. This method roasts the eggplant faster and also prevents your whole eggplant from exploding in the oven.
Does grilling remove all the moisture?
Well yes to some extent. To remove all of the moisture, place the scooped out roasted flesh over a strainer and let it sit for a while.
Should I use a food processor?
If you’d like, yes. Traditionally, this dip is all about texture. Whisk the scooped out, drained flesh vigorously with a fork to maintain texture. If you are looking for a smooth creamy texture, use your food processor.
Ingredients and Spices
Baba Ganoush is basically roasted and pureed eggplant (or ‘aubergine’ or ‘brinjal’) combined with garlic, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice. You can also add spices and herbs to add additional flavor.
Spices – Cumin, Paprika, Sumac, Cayenne
Herbs – Cilantro, Parsley, Basil
What to serve with it?
Serve it as a dip with Pita bread, Pita chips, falafel, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, bell pepper sticks, fritters, etc.
You can also use it as a spread in sandwiches or rolls.
Baba Ganoush holds well in an air tight container in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
If you like the recipe or make Baba Ganoush, please be sure to leave a comment. Above all, I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe and decide to post, please be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook!
- 1 -1 1/2 lb American Eggplant Or 1 large American Eggplant
- 2 medium cloves minced
- 2 tbsp lemon
- 1/4 cup Tahini
- 1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil use a minimum of 2 tbsp to 1/3 cup EVOO, based on your requirement
- 2 tbsp Cilantro And more for garnish. You can use herbs: parsley or basil as well
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne (optional) or red chili powder.
- pinch Smoked Paprika to add to smoky flavor
- 1/2 tsp Sumac (optional) and more for garnish
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 F (or 230 C).
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent eggplant from sticking to the sheet and also for easy clean up.
- Half the eggplants lenght wise and brush with extra vigin olive oil. Place them in the prepared baking sheets with cut side down.
- Roast the eggplants for 40 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Remove eggplants from oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Flip them and scoop out the roasted flesh. Discard the skin.
- Place a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl and transfer the scooped out flesh to the strainer. Leave it for 15 – 20 minutes. This step is essential to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Discard the drippings and transfer the scooped out flesh to the food processor. Add garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and salt. Give it a quick spin. This will result in a creamy and smooth mixture.
- Transfer this to a mixing bowl and add cilantro, cumin, sumac and cayenne (or red chili powder). Mix well to incorporate all spices. Taste test and adjust seasoning according to your preference.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle smoked paprika, sumac and cilantro.
- Serve with pita bread, chips or vegetable sticks. Enjoy!
- Adjust the amount on olive oil based on your preference.
- If you like your dip to be a little tart increase lemon juice quantity.
- Salt your roasted eggplant well.