BabaGhanoush (Eggplant Dip)

Without wanting to worry anyone, I truly believe the Egg Plant is the sexiest vegetable on the planet. Some may lay claim to asparagus, with its phallic qualities, reminding me of a curvaceous temptress in a slinky cocktail dress, its sleek, midnight skin hugs its voluptuous curves. The French, those self-proclaimed masters love making, even gave it a sexy name The Aubergine and to the touch its firm flesh to me resembles the finest firm body parts. Hang on perhaps I have been cycling alone for too long… 

But putting my produce lust aside for a moment, while cycling in Israel I was able to enjoy this versatile on an almost daily basis. Savoured hot or cold, grilled, roasted, deep fried, stuffed and pickled it is a quintessential vegetable of cooking in the Middle East.
But after a long ride through the Negev Desert, in searing heat, it was enjoying Babganoush, the Smokey garlic and tahini infused eggplant dip in a small desert Ashram that I was happiest. Deep bowls of this smooth stuff were produced and wiped up with warm home-made pita bread during a memorable Shabbat meal. 

With Baba meaning Father in Arabic and Ganoush to spoil, it is clear why this favourite is so popular and if you feel like spoiling someone here is a recipe I put together with the help of those at The Desert Ashram. 

  • 2 large egg plants
  • 1 cup of natural yogurt 
  • A third of a cup of tahini 
  • Fresh mint 
  • Lemon Juice
  • One clove of crushed garlic
  • Salt
    Black Pepper 
  • 2 table spoons of pine nuts

 1. Grill the eggplants on the open flame of your gas ring, turning on all sides, until their skins blacken and burn and the flesh inside becomes soft and squidgy. This may seem a lot of work but the smoky taste is well worth the effort. 

2. Leave the grilled eggplants to cool and then cut in half and scoop out the soft flesh inside making sure to remove all the blackened skin.

3. Add the warm flesh to a large mixing bowl and add the yogurt, tahini lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk until you have a smooth creamy paste. 

4. Add the mixture to a bowl and garnish with the fresh mint, a little olive oil and the pine nuts. Serve with plenty of warm pita bread and get dipping.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 10:04 and is filed under Israel & Egypt 2008, Israeli Recipes, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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