Monday, June 13, 2011

Baba Ghanoush

Fresh eggplants are coming in almost every week at my house and my favorite thing to do with them is turn them into baba ghanoush an eggplant dip with roots in the middle east. If you have ever been in a middle eastern restaurant you probably saw it on the menu and it is very easy to make and tasty to eat. I like it cold but it is also pretty good hot or warm. It goes great with flat breads, wassa crackers, and carrots.

Baba Ghanoush

2 large ichiban eggplants 
1 medium black beauty eggplant 

1 table spoon tahini 
3 table spoons of sesame oil

the juice of half a lemon

big pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of ginger paste 
 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger minced

1 heaping table spoon minced garlic 
1 tablespoon garlic powder

black pepper 
cayenne pepper 
white pepper 
to taste I use a pinch of each  

water to make smooth add it a little at a time

*optional*  1 jigger ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil for richness

Rub eggplants in oil and roast in a baking pan in the oven or on the grill (my preference) until the skin starts to burn or the eggplants split open which ever comes first. If making hot put straight into the food processor or blender. If making cold bag and throw in the fridge a couple hours. Traditionally the skin is peeled from the eggplants before making but I prefer to leave it intact for flavor and small amount of additional fiber and vitamins. Add all other ingredients except water and pulse check for smoothness and consistency if necessary add water until it get where you want it. I like it kind of sticky and thick. Serve as a dip or a topper for greens for a twist on salad. In Egypt it is blended with small chopped onions and tomatoes for a dip like Egyptian salsa. Play around with spices mint, parsley, cilantro and cumin are all popular in different countries. In Israel they leave out the tahini and use mayonnaise. And a lot of countries make it very similarly only instead of making it pureed they chop everything chunky.   Have fun and enjoy this healthy tasty snack!

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