5 Ingredients or Fewer

Easy Baba Ghanouzh

January 18, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes Depends on size/quantity of eggplants used
Author Notes

When I was growing up in Lebanon, there were ALWAYS 2 things you could count on at the dinner table (other than crazy relatives yelling at each other) - hummus and baba ghanouzh. In the old days, Tayta (Grandma in Arabic) would shanghai someone into standing at the stovetop turning eggplants over to char/roast them which inevitably caused even more yelling when things didn't go right. Here's a much easier way to make it —TXDjinn

What You'll Need
  • 1 piece Good sized Italian Eggplant
  • 1 piece Clove of garlic for each eggplant used
  • 1 tablespoon Tahini for each eggplant used
  • Your best olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt per Clove of Garlic used
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and line a good sized pan that will hold your eggplants with aluminum foil
  2. Wash off your eggplant (it's called Batenzhan in Arabic) and remove the stem end and slice in half legnthwise.
  3. Place your eggplant(s), cut side down in the baking pan and place them into the oven for 1 hour.
  4. Take the pan out of the oven and let the eggplants cool - they skin should have started turning brown and the eggplant halves should have shrunk some. You might want to drain off the juices that have come out.
  5. While the eggplants cool, mash up the clove(s) of garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle until it's a smooth, silky paste. BTW, this is also excellent to put on grilled chicken.
  6. In a container, scoop out the contents of the eggplant and stir them to break them up a bit - this shouldn't be smooth. Add in your garlic paste, tahini and stir.
  7. Add in your olive oil to give it a nice gloss - this is really eyeballed but I generally go with half a tablespoon.
  8. Taste and add salt or oil as needed. This really needs at least a day in the fridge to allow the flavours to come together.
  9. When you serve, drizzle a little more oil on it and sprinkle some sumac (you can find this as any Arabic market) for colour and some additional flavour. Believe it or not, I usually serve this with tortilla chips which really complement it - there's no rule that says you have to serve it with pita!
  10. Sahtain/Enjoy!!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taste of Beirut
    Taste of Beirut
  • TXDjinn

2 Reviews

Taste O. June 18, 2011
My aunt Wadad who makes the best baba ghannouj always says when I ask her what her secret is " Put as little tahineh as possible"; hers is light and melt in the mouth. I always end up using more garlic than you; great recipe, sticks to the classics. I love the drama that comes when charring the eggplant though, it adds to the mystique of the dish, don't you think?
TXDjinn June 19, 2011
Of course! Nothing like listening to my Uncle Ahmad screaming as he picks up the eggplant incorrectly and burns his fingers while a senior woman of the family questions his canine origins in Arabic LOL. The discovery of the similar effects to charring by baking at 400 degrees was a revelation to many arab cooks and spread like wildfire on the various mailing lists.