8 April 2006

Baba Ganouj- and this is no godman

The first time I came across Baba Ganouj ( Pronounced "Ga-NOOSH" )was in BASHA, a Greek restaurant in Rochester, NY-where they had accidentally brought this onto our table instead of Hummus. One taste of the stuff and I knew that it was surely smoked brinjal and not chickpeas that I was tasting.



Baba Ganouj is a classic Mediterranean eggplant dip. It's silky, smokey and bursting with flavour. Here goes my version :




Ingredients:
1 mid-sized eggplant / brinjal
2 tbsp sesame seeds- roasted
4 fat cloves of garlic
2 tbsp thick yogurt
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp freshly minced parsely / coriander



Directions



1. Roasting the brinjal- Doing it on a direct flame or the grill gives the best smokey taste.
Place the brinjal on a medium flame, and rotate regularly so that the skin gets evenly blistered. It will take about 10-12 min for the entire brinjal to get roasted and soft from within.

However you can roast it on a lightly greased baking sheet by slitting it in half lengthwise at 350 F. I prefer to broil rather than bake, for that browning effect.

Peel off the blistered skin, chop roughly and keep aside.


2.Assembling the ingredients- In a blender, roughly grind the roasted sesame seeds. Then add the chopped roasted brinjal and all other ingredients except parsely/ coriander and olive oil. Blend to a smooth paste.



3. Finale-Remove the paste onto a shallow dish. Mix in the olive oil. Garnish with minced parsely / coriander and a swirl of some more olive oil.






Serving suggestion-
Serve the chilled Baba Ganouj with warm pita bread brushed with olive oil. If pita bread is not readily available, you can either serve it with toasted slices of a whole wheat bread / foccasia or whole wheat crackers.

Last evening, I served it to my guests with wedges of garlic bread toasted till warm. They loved it!

Note-
The original recipe calls for Tahini, which a sesame seed paste in olive oil. Since Tahini is not easily available in grocery stores in India, I ground roasted sesame seeds along with other ingredients. I did not find much of a taste deviation from the original.



(2011 update)
Al Fez brand of Tahini is now available in most supermarkets in cities, such as Nature's Basket.







5 comments:

Vijai said...

Oooh, that dip was delicious. Pity there were no fries to go with it though. And I got to eat only one spinach leaf!
Woman, you do take pains to put out a neat spread. Excellent!
p.s. That slightly pungent taste that I was referring to, must have been the olive oil that you glazed the bread with?

Lalit Vashista said...

Yummmmmm One of the most amazing dips I have tried.
The garlic flavour blended with sesame is still lingering in my mouth
Dip of the Week. I got the Lucky DIP

Saffron said...

yumm, baba ganouj...truly a wonderful dip! our family loves it too :)

I've never made it with yogurt, but I bet it adds a nice tart taste to it. Good recipe!

cheers!

khuto said...

try it also with leftover roti, roasted crisp on a tawa, and generously
spread with brinjal-garlic-yoghurty
baga ganoush...

ramya said...

Hi,
I made this recently,and it came amazing...such a wonderful thing baingan can be!!

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