Last Updated on March 3, 2022
We just came back from a visit to Lebanon and in the process captured a whole bunch of recipes straight from Mama’s kitchen. This Baba Ganoj recipe is our first installment for now.
Is it Baba Ganoj or Ghannouj?
It’s actually Ghannouj, pronounced as Gha-nn-ooj and translating to coquettish. In the US it tends to be pronounced as Ganoj. Nevertheless, this is one of a kind hearty, smoky and healthy vegan dip made by simply mashing roasted eggplants with Tahini paste, and garlic. It is served as a cold appetizer dip along with pita bread and some salted Lebanese pickles such as cucumbers, chili peppers and turnips.
How Baba Ghannouj Was Made Back in the Day
Back in the old days and even occasionally today, instead of using a food processor folks use a wooden mortar and pestle to crush and smash the eggplants. Mama said that she prefers to do it that way when she has more time. Don’t forget to use high quality olive oil to garnish the dip. Enjoy!
Lebanese Baba Ganoj Recipe - Roasted Eggplant Tahini Dip
- 4 eggplants medium sized
- 5 tablespoons Tahini paste
- 1/2 cup lemon juice fresh
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Roast the eggplants in the oven on medium heat, or on a BBQ grill for about 30 minutes.
- While eggplants are still hot (not too hot so you don't burn your hands), peel them, then scoop out and discard their seeds as much as possible.
- Strain the water from the eggplants by placing them on a colander for about 10 minutes. This step is important so you don't get a mushy Baba Ghanoj.
- Add eggplants and all other ingredients in a food processor and let run for 2-3 minutes until you get a paste.
- Place Baba Ghanouj paste into a serving plate, garnish with any/all of the following: olive oil, chopped parsley, sumac spice or chili powder, salted pickles...etc
- Serve cold as an appetizer, with a side of Pita bread.
- Tip to peel the eggplants: As soon as you take them off the heat, place each in a separate plastic bag, tie tightly and keep there for a few minutes. The steam will help loosen the skin to make it easier to peel.
- The white vinegar is there to brighten both the flavor and color, but it's optional.