An easy Lebanese dish which can be both a vegetarian dip and a non vegetarian dish.


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 large eggplant/aubergine/brinjal (purple variety)
  • 1 big lemon
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt, to season
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g minced lamb
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 hot red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste/sauce
  • Salt, to season
  • Freshly milled black pepper, to season
  • 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 2-3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

Method

  1. To make the Baba ghanouj: Grill the eggplant till the outsides are really charred and the flesh inside has become soft. (I do it on the stove top but you can use an oven or a charcoal fire). Cover with a cloth and keep aside for 2 minutes.
  2. Peel the skin off while still warm; cut and chop the flesh roughly.
  3. Place in a mortar and pestle, food processor or grinder and add garlic, tahini, yoghurt and half of the lemon juice. Blend for a minute or two.
  4. Season with salt and check the taste. Add more tahini or lemon juice if necessary.
  5. Transfer to a large serving plate and drizzle the olive oil on top. If you prefer a creamier consistency, add the olive oil and blend again (Note – Some households add parsley too though I didn’t).
  6. To make the minced lamb topping: In a large pan, heat ghee and add the minced lamb; fry for a couple of minutes till it has browned lightly.
  7. Add the diced onions, followed by the rest of the ingredients except pine nuts. Fry till the tomatoes have broken down and the moisture absorbed.
  8. Toast the pine nuts taking care not to burn.
  9. Cool slightly and spoon over the baba ghanouj.
  10. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts.
  11. Though a tabbouleh would have been a good accompaniment to the meal, I made an avocado salsa along with Lebanese pita breads to complete the meal.

Notes... Now this is a dish for both the vegetarians and non vegetarians. If you eat lamb, you can enjoy the whole dish but if you don’t, then you still have the Baba Ghanouj – a deliriously flavoursome dip with the smokiness of the roasted eggplants married with the creamy nuttiness of the tahina (sesame seed paste), some tanginess from the yoghurt and a good drizzle of olive oil and lemon. And top it off with some gently spiced lamb mince and toasted pine nuts.

  • This sounds rather lovely, thank you.

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  • Dhanya, this sounds utterly delicious. I have just emailed myself the link. I absolutely love eggplant!

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  • Sounds nice without the lamb for me.

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  • This sounds so much nicer than the tradition Baba Ghanouj

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  • I was curious to see what this was, and it sounds delicious. will love to try this.

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  • Had this for tea and the family loved it.

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  • wow what flavours…. would love to attempt this!

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  • Looks amazing and I know tastes good too. My mother in law makes this and it’s delicious.

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  • this looks and sound awesome – thanks for sharing the recipe

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  • i would love to try making this baba ghanouj. i don’t think that i have ever tried it either but this looks really delish so i can’t wait to give it a go

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  • I’ve made Baba Ghanouj a few times but this take it to a whole other level – YUM!

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  • This would taste nice as a starter plate

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  • Wonderful Lebanese dish!

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  • now this is my kind dinner! certainly trying this recipe will give my mums recipe a run for money!

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  • CANT WAIT TO TRY THIS IS MY FAMILYS TEA TONIGHT

    Reply

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