Authentic Baba Ganoush (Eggplant and Tahini Dip)
I love to prepare this authentic baba ganoush recipe. It is the most delicious combination of charred eggplants, tahini, lemon, garlic and olive oil. You can serve this yummy dip as an appetizer, snack or a side dish. It goes great with pita bread or fresh vegetables. I love to spread it on a piece of toast and top with some smoked paprika. It is so good.
This recipe is not mine. It originated in Lebanon, but it is associated also with Iraq, Armenia, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Libya, and Turkey. According to Oxford English Dictionary, baba ganoush translates as spoiled (or pampered) dad.
Why should you make this recipe?
Baba ganoush is not only yummy, but it is also very nutritious. This easy eggplant dip is low in carbs, vegan, gluten and grain free. You need only few ingredients to make an authentic baba ganoush
- Eggplant – high in fiber and antioxidants. It is also low in carbs and calories.
- Tahini – great source of fiber, protein and healthy monounsaturated fats. Contains many vitamins and antioxidants.
- Olive oil – the healthiest fat you can consume raw is the extra virgin olive oil. It is known to have benefits for the cardiovascular and nervous system.
- Lemon – it helps boost your immune system with a dose of vitamin C
- Garlic – great natural antibiotic. It has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties.
- Parsley – this herb contains a lot of vitamin K, which is great for bone health. A 1/2 cup of parsley (30 grams) provides 547% of the recommended daily value.
How to cook the eggplant?
Grilling – This is my preferred method of cooking eggplants. Preheat a grill on high and cut the eggplants in half. Brush some olive oil on each half. Grill the eggplant halves for about 5 minute per side (depending on size) or until soft.
Roasting – preheat the oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and cut your eggplants lengthwise. Brush some olive oil on the eggplants. Place them on the baking sheet with the flesh down. Depending on the size of the eggplants roast for about 30-40 minutes. Allow them to cool off before you are trying to scoop out the flesh.
Be very careful when you roast or grill the eggplant. If you decide to cook it whole, make some deep cuts on the surface of the eggplant. Eggplants tend to explode when cooked whole. I had a horrible accident with an eggplant at the beginning of last year. I decided to grill an eggplant whole and I poked some holes with a knife in it before putting it on the grill. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. When I opened the lid of the grill the eggplant exploded and burned me badly. There are still some scars on my arms from that accident. I recommend cutting the eggplant in half, lengthwise. You will reduce the bake time in half, and you will prevent accidents.
You decide what is the texture and consistency of this dip. I personally prefer it smooth, but you can make it chunky too. You are in control of the flavors too. If you don’t like garlic as much you can omit it. I personally love garlic and sometimes I add double the amount I listed in this recipe. You can also adjust the lemon juice and olive oil to your likings.
How to Choose a Good Quality Tahini?
To prepare an authentic baba ganoush you are going to need high quality tahini.
A good quality tahini is made only from sesame seeds and nothing else. Check the ingredient list before purchasing. Some salt is acceptable, but no sugar or other oils should be listed. Real tahini is runny and pourable. If your tahini is too thick it is going to be bitter. That is considered a poor-quality tahini or the one that is collected from the bottom of the barrel. Stir or shake your tahini container before measuring because some natural oil separation may occur.
Authentic Baba Ganoush
- Food processor
- 2 lbs eggplant about two small eggplants
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp Tahini
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing on eggplants and serving
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- salt to taste
- a pinch of smoked paprika for topping optional
- To grill the eggplants: preheat a grill on high and cut the eggplants in half. Brush some olive oil on each half. Grill the eggplant halves for about 5 minutes per side (depending on size) or until soft. To roast: preheat an oven to 450F. Cut the eggplants in half, brush some oil on each half. Place eggplant halves on baking sheet and roast until soft.
- Cool down the eggplant, then scoop the flesh in the bowl of the food processor. To the same bowl add, the tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, cumin and salt to taste. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer the eggplant mixture into a bowl with a lid and refrigerate for about an hour.
- To serve: transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl, drizzle some olive oil and top with smoked paprika and chopped parsley.