This middle eastern babaganoush dip is one of those iconic appetisers or side dish staples that frustrate many people. I say frustrate because it’s quite difficult to nail it, although it seems it should be so simple. I find it’s the relative quantities that count however – that’s it.
So start with nice firm fresh aubergines, not old tired stale ones. Cut them in the correct way too I find is really important. Make sure the aubergines are well charred & cooked. Finally, adding just the right amount of garlic (not too much) & tahini – just enough – & salt & lemon juice is key. I think the temptation is often just to add too much – when really it’s the roasted aubergine that needs to speak.
Cut the aubergines in half, and scoring deeply with a cross hatch pattern is essential to roast them well. Don’t pierce the skins, but cut deeply – leave the ends on too. Brushing with a generoush amount of cold pressed virgin olive oil is a must. The rest is easy, add all the ingredients to the blender and blend away.
To get a great taste it has to be chilled down first. If you add too much tahini makes it thick and less creamy in fact. So go easy on it and follow the amounts. Because you’re unlikely to have the same amount of aubergine flesh every time after roasting, here’s how to sort it. Divide the flesh you have by weight, by 210 (the recipe weight) – multiply the recipe amounts by that.
It can go with a meal, but not as well as hummus. The ideal way to eat this Middle Eastern babaganoush dip, is as an appetizer with corn chips or better still warm wholemeal pitta bread. A good alternative would be buttered wholemeal toast. This dip doesn’t keep as well as hummus, so it’s better to make it in smaller quantities.
Middle Eastern Babaganoush dip
- 1 oven proof tray
- 1 Food processor
For Roasting the Aubergines
- 600 g fresh aubergine (2 good sized aubergines) should yield 210g of flesh
- 75 g cold pressed olive oil
For making the babaganoush
- 5 g fresh garlic
- 20 g light tahini
- 20g g olive oil
- 15 g lemon juice
- ½ teasp smoked sea salt
- ¼ teasp ground corriander
- ¼ teasp ground cummin
- Cut the aubergines in half lengthways
- Make a series of diagonal cuts as in the picture, being careful to not cut all the way through the skin. Roughly 1cm appart for the cuts is good
- brush the tray with olive oil, and liberally brush the cut surface of the aubergines
- place under the grill - but not too close - the middle shelf is generally good.
- turn every ten minutes and brush the skins when you turn them for the first time.
- They will end up quite chared, but this is essential to get the smokey flavour.
- Check they are fully cooked, then allow to cool before scraping all the soft flesh out of the skins and placing it in a food processor.
- add the garlic and tahini
- then the oil and lemon juice and salt.
- blend thoroughly stopping the processor to scrape the sides and bottom with a spatula at least once and preferably twice.
- Scoop the babaganoush out into a bowl and put in the fridge to cool sufficiently before eating with warm pitta, or toast.
- serve with warm wholemeal pitta or buttered wholemeal toast