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Baba Ghanoush

Baba ghanoush recipe is an Arabian recipe which makes use of roasted aubergine (eggplant) along with various seasonings and it is served as a dip, appetizer or side dish. The dish is also called baba ghanouj and it has a semi solid appearance and light brown color. This eggplant based dish is typical to Levant and Egyptian cuisine.

Ingredients Used in Baba Ghanouj
Here is a list of popularly used ingredients in the Baba ghanoush recipe-

  • Aubergine or Eggplant- This is the principal ingredient in the recipe.
  • Seasonings- These may vary from one recipe to another, but the commonly used seasonings mentioned in the classic Baba ghanoush recipe are lemon juice, sesame seeds, mint, parsley, tahini and garlic. Salt and pepper are added to taste.
  • Method of Preparation of baba ghanouj: To prepare Baba ghanoush, the eggplant is first roasted by placing it on an open flame. It attains a soft and pulpy texture and a smoky taste when done. Care is taken to bake it evenly on all sides. After this, the skin of the eggplant is taken off, and seasonings of salt, pepper, lemon juice, sesame seeds, mint, parsley, tahini and garlic are added to the pulp. The mixture is blended in a food processor, then mixed with some olive oil and refrigerated for a couple of hours before serving. There are numerous variations in the seasonings of the dish in different types of recipes. Some variations of the Baba ghanoush recipe also include addition of diced tomatoes and onions. Chili powder and cumin are also optional additions to the dish.

Serving and Eating Baba Ghanoush
Baba ghanoush is served cold. It is served as an appetizer in Levant and as a side dish in Egypt, where it is usually served as a dip with khubzor pita bread or vegetables, or as a salad. It is also used as an ingredient for other Middle Eastern dishes.

Popular Baba Ghanouj Variations
The Baba ghanoush recipe has many variations across the globe, each known by a different name. Here are some dishes that closely resemble Baba ghanoush-

  • In Israel, mayonnaise is used for preparing the dish along with other local seasonings.In Palestine, the dish is made with baladi, a term for a wild variety of eggplant. Seasonings used here are olive oil, lemon, parsley and tehina.
  • In Turkey it is known as Patlıcan salatası ("eggplant salad”) and there eggplants are mashed in the recipe.
  • Melitzanosalata, again meaning eggplant salad, is the Greek name of the dish.
  • Baigan Bharta is an Indian dish similar to Baba ghanoush. It is made by cooking the roasted eggplant pulp in spices, onions, tomatoes and garlic. It is served along with paratha, naan or roti as a side dish. One West Indian dish called bharta is made by adding yoghurt and onions to the roasted eggplant along with other seasonings and this is also served as a side dish.
  • Salată de vinete is an eggplant dip from Romania, which has a recipe similar to the Baba ghanouj recipe. It is traditionally served with chopped onions ,which are mixed by the eater on the table itself.