If you have been with me since last year, you may remember from my Begun Bhaja post that I became an eggplant convert as a grown up. As a child, liking eggplants was unthinkable to me. Who would want this bitter, gloopy vegetable?
Well, as an adult, I like to think I know better. Eggplant is one of those veggies whose taste is completely dependent on your treatment of it. Add it to a stew and let it cook to a slimy mess and trust me, it will taste as bad as it looks!
But roast it, fry it or grill it and season it with spices and you will wonder where it has been all your life!
Add the magic of smoke to eggplants, though and you will be in pukka gastronomic heaven. It is true for the Indian Baingan ka Bharta and it is equally true for the middle eastern Baba Ganoush.
A few year ago, one of my Turkish friends introduced me to a fabulous dip that she made by roasting eggplants over a fire. Looking for that dip led me to Baba Ganoush. It is slightly different from the Turkish version, but equally delicious.
Smoky eggplant, garlic, tahini and pine nuts! Doesn’t that sound delectable? Have some pita chips or sea salt crackers on hand and dive right in 😀 It doesn’t get much better than this!
I hope the fabulous bloggers at Angie’s Fiesta Friday love this delightful dip as much as I do. This week’s party is being hosted by two absolutely wonderful ladies, Selma @Selma’s Table and Margy @La Petite Casserole and I’m really looking forward to it 😀
Here’s the recipe.
1 large Eggplant
2 tablespoons Tahini, plus more as needed
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1⁄4 cup fresh Lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 pinch ground Cumin
1 pinch Paprika
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf Parsley
1 tablespoon Pine Nuts
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.
Preheat an oven to 180°C.
Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire.
Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake in the oven until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.
Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl.
Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste.
Add the tahini, the garlic, the lemon juice and the cumin and mix well.
Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley and pine nuts.
Sprinkle the paprika over it.
Serve at room temperature.