Monday, October 02, 2006

Baba ghanoush

Like fat, purple mirrors, aubergines are magnificent right now. I believe nothing complements the flavour of aubergine like the smoky tones of this Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern side dish, especially when served with grilled or BBQ’d lamb. Resist the temptation to chuck the eggplant in the oven, and let loose the inner pyromaniac to do it over a naked flame. It honestly gives the finished result an entirely different flavour with predominant smoky aroma and taste. Even if you have to use a makeshift cake rack over a gas burner, do it. You won’t be disappointed. I have lost more cake racks to this technique than I care to mention, but in the scheme of things, cake racks are expendable.

1 large aubergine/eggplant
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup tahini
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
¼ cup yoghurt, optional
Paprika and olive oil for dressing

Put the eggplant over a flame and turn it every so often until it is charred and collapsed – the flesh should be very soft. (If you rally can’t do the flame thing, pierce it with a skewer a few times and bake in the oven for an hour). Peel the skin off the eggplant and place the flesh in a food processor along with all the other ingredients. If you want a creamier texture use the yoghurt, otherwise leave it out. Blitz until everything is combined and you have a smooth, slightly liquid paste. Spread onto a plate and make a well in a circular shape with the back of a spoon, drizzle oil over and a sprinkle of paprika.

6 Comments:

Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Oh yes, one cannot beat homemade baba ghanouj blackened over the stove for smokey goodness. I've never added corianders leaves though, or yoghurt. Always extra garlic though :)

3:08 PM  
Blogger Brilynn said...

I have tried repeatedly to make baba ghanouj and have always failed, which is disappointing because I really like it. I will have to try your recipe and hope for better results.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Reb said...

Mmmm yum Helen. Extra garlic! I don't always add yoghurt, preferring the chunckier texture, but it smooths it out to a more refined look and slightly more acid taste

Make sure your eggplant is really well cooked brilynn, it has to be very sloppy before you process it. Hope this one works for you!

8:26 AM  
Blogger neil said...

We were just away for the weekend with my mate whose wife has a Lebanese heritage, and she made this and for sure there was extra garlic. She also made tabouli, which we debated whether it has an e or a sound on the end. I also mentioned that I can never get my tabouli to taste like people from Lebanon make it, like there is some mysterious flavour they add. In the end we think it comes down to the type of olive oil used.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

Ah - the olive oil - that makes sense. I've seen a secret pinch of sumac go into a few taboulis as well. They put it in while I wasn't looking. I've also seen a well intentioned invitee into a lebaese household try and make tabouli with a food processor. They all nearly fainted at the thought!

4:09 PM  
Blogger neil said...

Funny you mention sumac, 'cause that's exactly what I thought I could taste but C swore there was none. I have seen a few Lebanese use the processor to chop the parsley, but that's as far as it went.

7:14 AM  

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