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Old 02-19-2012, 06:04 AM   #1
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Greek & Turkish Eggplant Dip: Babaganouj

This is a very common appetiser, similar to Hummus, however, the main ingredient is not chickpeas, it is aubergine or eggplant.

In Egypt it is called Babaganouj and in Morocco, it is called Moutabal and in Spanish it is called Puré de Berenjena.

Eggplant and Sesame Tahine Dip:

2 eggplants sliced vertically in half
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Sesame Tahine paste
1 tblsp olive oil
a pinch of cumin
a pinch of salt
minced fresh mint leaf or parsley
smoked paprika for garnish

1) preheat oven to 190 degrees centig and grill on broiler the eggplants until tender 25 mins or so
2) in the meantime, prepare the other ingredients in a large bowl, for the food processor or blender ( except the olive oil and paprika and mint or parsley )
3) spoon out the eggplant pureé in the processor
4) season
5) blend well to a coarse paste and drizzle the olive oil very slowly in the dip ... keep coarse and thick.
6) put on serving platter
7) make a well in center of the dip and place olive oil
8) sprinkle with smoked paprika and mint leaves minced or parsley
9) serve with Pita Bread and a glass of Rosé or Riesling or Greek white wine from Santorini or Prosecco or Cava

Enjoy,
Margi.

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Old 02-19-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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Years back a Lebanese friend insisted that the eggplant had to be cooked on a charcoal or wood fire to make proper baba ganouj.

Initially I poo-pooed the idea. But tried it nonetheless. It does make a difference, adding a smokey, slightly charred flavor to the final dish. So now I always do it that way.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:25 AM   #3
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@ Historic Foodie: Unfortunately do not have

Good Morning Historic Foodie,

Yes, wish we could however, remember we are urban and have small loft apartment; and do not have a fireplace or charcoal. I am sure, it would be fabulous ! I had it done that way in Greece and Morocco.

Kind regards.
M.C.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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I love babaganuj! Usually in the US though they make it with Mayo not tehina which annoys me!!!
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:53 AM   #5
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@ Siegel: What a shame !

@ Siegel,

I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Mediterranean and classic cuisines --- Sesame Tahine Paste is the way it has been done since time memorial ... thus, using Mayo is great in tuna salad with celery and onion, it changes the whole flavor of Babaganuj or Mutabal ( called in Morocco ).

It is truly worth it, to order it from a Health Food place --- and make it without the mayo.

Thanks for post note.
From one babaganuj fan to another,
Margi.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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Tahini is even available in many supermarkets, nowadays. So there's no reason not to use the true gelt.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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My husband is from the middle east and when I used to send him to a restaurant to order babaganuj for me I would always tell him: ask if they make it with mayo if so I don't want it. He thought I was crazy!! Babaganuj is never made with mayo! Little did he understand US culture and their obsession with mayo! Haha
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:44 AM   #8
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@ Siegel & Historic Foodie: Sesame Paste Tahine

Good afternoon Siegel and Historic Foodie,

It is difficult for me to imagine Mayo in hummus or babaganuj ... I had a fab babaganuj at an Egyptian restaurant in Brooklyn Heights area many many years ago. It was the best I have had outside of Greece, Turkey or Morocco. It was made with Sesame Paste Tahine --- and I always make it the same way at home, as I truly it ...

I have re-editing work to do, so back to the magazine.

Margi.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #9
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I make baba ganoush with a similar recipe. I don't cut the egg plant before baking, I just poke holes and then I drain it in a colander after scooping. I'll have to try the pinch of cumin next time. I love this stuff. It's a great snack on a low carb diet with crudités as dippers.

Mayo? In baba ganoush?
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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@ Tax Lady: Pleased to hear your input

Yes, it is a lovely dip with oven warm Pita, olives, tomatoes ... I also am a Hummus fan ...

A pinch of cumin gives it that unique quality that is traditional in this dish.

Thanx for feedback.
Margi.
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