Baba ghanoush

It seems that at the start of any Middle Eastern dish dips are key. I am not talking about the turgid and fermented excuses that come in cellophane cups in supermarkets but home made, homes mashed bowls of flavour that are mopped up with torn peices of warm flat bread. To start our meal in Mezza we hungrily went about swiping this smokey garlic and tahini infused eggplant dip into our mouths. Deep bowls of this smooth stuff were produced along with a creamy houmous.  With Baba meaning Father in Arabic and Ganoush to spoil, it is clear why this favourite is so popular and if you feel like spoiling someone here is a recipe.

  • 2 large egg plants
  • 1 cup of natural yogurt
  • A third of a cup of tahini
  • Fresh mint
  • Lemon Juice
  • One clove of crushed garlic
  • Salt Black Pepper
  • 2 table spoons of pine nuts
 1. Grill the eggplants on the open flame of your gas ring, turning on all sides, until their skins blacken and burn and the flesh inside becomes soft and squidgy. This may seem a lot of work but the smoky taste is well worth the effort.
2. Leave the grilled eggplants to cool and then cut in half and scoop out the soft flesh inside making sure to remove all the blackened skin.
3. Add the warm flesh to a large mixing bowl and add the yogurt, tahini lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk until you have a smooth creamy paste.
4. Add the mixture to a bowl and garnish with the fresh mint, a little olive oil and the pine nuts. Serve with plenty of warm pita bread and get dipping.

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