The Best Baba Ganoush

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The Best Baba Ganoush - It's Not Complicated Recipes #glutenfree #vegan #babganoush #dip #eggplant #partyfood #easyrecipes #entertaining #appetisers

It is no exaggeration to call this recipe The Best Baba Ganoush. This classic Baba Ganoush is vegan, gluten-free and nut-free. That makes this dip a great appetiser for guests who have specific dietary requirements.  It is a simple and delicious eggplant dip that is full of complexity and depth of flavour.

With good reason, hummus gets a great deal of attention; in fact, I have a recipe for it here. However, its near relative, Baba Ganoush, unfortunately, is often overlooked. If you’ve never had a really good Baba Ganoush, you won’t know how delicious it can be.  A good Baba Ganoush is smooth and creamy, with the smokiness of charred eggplant, the bright flavour that lemon provides and the nuttiness of tahini.   

The key to making The Best Baba Ganoush lies in developing a smoky flavour in the eggplant.

To do this, it is best to cook the eggplant over an open flame.  You can cook the eggplant outdoors on a gas or charcoal grill or indoors over a gas flame on your stove. The idea is to cook the eggplant until the skin is well charred and the flesh tender to the point that the eggplant is beginning to collapse. If cooking indoors over a gas flame on your stove I recommend that you line the burner with foil to minimise the clean-up.

However, if neither of these options is available, you will also achieve an excellent result by placing the eggplant under a grill/broiler. Do not place them too close to the grill; the skin will char before the flesh cooks. It needs to be about 15cm/6” below the heat source. Place the eggplants on a foil-lined and rimmed baking tray. It will take 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant.

Eggplant tends to divide people; they either or love it or hate it.

To fully appreciate and enjoy eggplant it must be completely cooked until it is soft, smooth, and creamy.

This enhances the natural flavour of the eggplant and makes it more receptive to the other flavours used with it. I wonder sometimes if the people who dislike eggplant have had it badly prepared and not fully cooked. Undercooked eggplant is tough, unappetising and devoid of flavour.

When it’s made right, Baba Ganoush is irresistibly smooth, creamy and smoky. In its basic form, Baba Ganoush is made with eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. I like to add freshly roasted and ground cumin. Initially, I roast the seeds to release their volatile oils. I grind the seeds and add them to the eggplant. The roasted, ground cumin adds spicy and earthy flavour notes, taking the Baba Ganoush to the next level.

When buying eggplant, there are several things to consider.

Firstly, the skin should be smooth, shiny and bright and the flesh should feel firm. Avoid those that are dull or wrinkled; this is an indicator that the fruit is not fresh. Additionally, check for signs of bruising. This may mean that the flesh is also bruised. If the flesh feels soft the fruit is either old or over-ripe. Further, the eggplant should feel heavy for its size. Fruit which feels light may have a spongy texture. In this instance, I think that size does matter. I prefer to use small or medium size eggplant. Often I find that the very large ones have more seeds, making them potentially bitter.

Whilst we mainly think of Baba Ganoush as a dip, it has many other possible uses.  Consider serving it:

·         as a sauce alongside slow roasted lamb

·         in a wrap with barbecued chicken and lettuce

·         in pita bread with falafel

·         as a spread on an open sandwich topped with tomato and cucumber

·         with my Quinoa Tabouli and Greek-style Chicken and Salsa.

I encourage you to try this most delicious and versatile eggplant dip. I am certain that you will enjoy it. Please let me know if you try it.
Alex and Faye xx

5 from 36 votes
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The Best Baba Ganoush

One of the best things to make with eggplant is this Middle Eastern dip. It is smokiness which defines The Best Baba Ganoush. The charring of the eggplant infuses the dip which is smooth, creamy and full of complex flavours. Make it a day ahead if possible to allow the wonderful flavours to fully develop.

Course Appetiser, Entree, Nibbles, Starter
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword baba ganoush, delicious, dip, easy, eggplant, eggplant dip, gluten free, simple, vegan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 221 kcal
Author Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplant *
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds *
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • sea salt * and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tsp lemon juice *
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin, divided

Suggested Toppings:

  • finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or mint
  • pomegranate seeds or finely diced tomato

Instructions

  1. Place the eggplants on a barbecue over a charcoal or gas grill flame. Alternatively, place the eggplants over a gas flame* on your stove. The third method is to place them on a foil lined baking tray under a grill*. See advice in Notes.

  2. Turn the eggplants with tongs until the skin is deeply charred and the eggplants completely tender and beginning to collapse, about 20 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat source and place on a plate until cool.

  4. Peel the eggplants. 

  5. Drain in a colander for 1 hour*.

  6. Meanwhile, heat a small, frying pan, without oil, over high heat. When the pan is hot add the cumin seeds. Shake the pan frequently to move the seeds about the pan. Continue until the seeds begin to slightly darken and become fragrant.

  7. Immediately transfer the seeds to a mortar and pestle to halt the cooking process. Allow to cool.

  8. Crush the seeds with a pestle. Alternatively, add them to a spice grinder* and process. A further option is to place the seeds in a strong plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.

  9. Place the eggplants in a food processor, add the garlic and ground cumin. Process until well combined and creamy.

  10. Add the tahini and lemon juice. While processing, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

  11. Check the Baba Ganoush for seasoning and texture of the dip. You may need to add extra lemon juice, salt or tahini to taste. If it needs to be a little thinner, add some extra olive oil. The dip should have the zing that the lemon provides, sufficient salt to enhance the flavour and the nutty flavour of tahini.

  12. Spoon into a serving bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dip. Pour the remaining olive oil into the well.

  13. Sprinkle with suggested and optional toppings. I have used parsley and pomegranate arils.

Recipe Notes

*If cooking eggplant over a gas flame on your stove, I recommend that you line the burner with foil to minimise clean up.
*If cooking eggplant under a grill/broiler, do not place them too close to the grill; the skin will char before the flesh cooks. They need to be about 15cm/6” below the heat source. Place the eggplants on a foil-lined and rimmed baking tray. Turn regularly to ensure even charring. It will take 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant.
* Eggplants should be very, very tender when cooked. Test near the stem and bottom ends; if a toothpick or skewer meets any resistance, continue cooking.
*It is important to drain the eggplant for this amount of time to extract as much liquid as possible.
*If you use your spice grinder to grind the cumin seeds, a handy tip to clean it between each use is to grind 1/4 cup of rice to a powder. Discard the rice. Wipe the grinder clean with kitchen towel.
*Do not skimp on the salt. Use ample salt to enhance the eggplant flavour.
*The amount of lemon juice required will depend on the variety of lemon; some have less acidity than others. You will need to add the lemon according to your taste.
* Gradually adding the olive oil emulsifies the dip and provides delicious creaminess.

Nutrition Facts
The Best Baba Ganoush
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 9mg0%
Potassium 585mg17%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 55IU1%
Vitamin C 7.4mg9%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The Best Baba Ganoush
Gluten Free and Vegan Baba Ganoush - It's Not Complicated Recipes #glutenfree #vegan #babganoush #dip #eggplant #partyfood #easyrecipes #entertaining #appetisers
Gluten Free and Vegan Baba Ganoush - It's Not Complicated Recipes #glutenfree #vegan #babganoush #dip #eggplant #partyfood #easyrecipes #entertaining #appetisers

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210 Comments on “The Best Baba Ganoush”

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  4. 5 stars
    I love the way this looks so festive and delish! I used to date a guy from Lebanon and his mother made a wonderful batch of this one night and I never got the recipe from her. I wish I had. I am hoping this tastes similar to hers! So super excited to find out! I will come back to let you know.

    1. Hello Heidy, I’m so glad that you’re going to try it. I hope that this comes near the flavour that you remember. Will look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Ah! I’ve never thought about it, but this baba ganoush is similar to that eggplant soup. Both start with grilled/charred eggplant. I love the charred flavor! I’ve never made baba ganoush, but we’re heading into summer entertaining season here. This would be a perfect party dip!!

  6. I love my Baba Ganoush it is as tasty as it is healthy and I often have it in the fridge.
    I´ve never actually made it myself but you make everything sound so easy that I just might!
    This is just perfect on a toast or pita bread.

  7. You’re so right that baba ganoush doesn’t get the recognition it deserves! I used to shy away from anything with eggplant as akid, but it has definitely grown on me in my adult years. Your recipe looks delicious!

  8. 5 stars
    I love baba ganoush so much but had no idea how it was made until now. This is so helpful and informative! I’m going to try making it this weekend. Thanks for sharing this recipe Alexandra! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    I super love Baba Ghanoush, my mom used to make it all the time but i never learned how! Now i know! Thank you so so much.

  10. Yum! I’ve never even tried baba ganoush but I love eggplants ? so I bet I’d love this!!

    1. Hi Brittany, I feel confident that you would like the dip. I find that it’s so full of flavour that it’s even popular with people who don’t generally like eggplant. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

  11. We buy baba ganoush at this amazing little place downtown. I would love to be able to make it at home! You’re right too, it’s that smoky flavor that makes it so delicious.

  12. 5 stars
    Wow! I love how nicely you have decorated it – it makes such a difference. You certainly do eat with your eyes, and this is so appealing!

  13. Oh man, I love babaganoush!! My partner always tries new recipes to perfect it, so I’ll be sending him this one too!

  14. oh my gosh ive never heard of this but it looks so easy to make and even better to enjoy with friends and family! great job!

  15. I’ve never tried it but you make it look so good I might just have to! Bookmarking this recipe for later.

  16. Omg, it looks perfect. You are a food goddess. I love your recipes always. They turn out yummy. Adding this too to my list.

  17. I’ve never had eggplant before. I’m a picky eater and tend to steer away from foods that I’m not accustomed to. It’s a nice presentation. I need to be more experimental.

    1. If you’ve never had eggplant before this is a great place to start; the dip is so full of lovely flavour. Please let me know if you do try it. 🙂

  18. That sounds very similar to eggplant ‘bharta’ that we make in India, eaten with a flatbread…had heard of baba ganoush a lot but didn’t really know what it was…quite a healthy & yumm recipe.
    – Nandita

    1. Oh Nandita, I haven’t heard of “bharta” but I shall certainly do some research. I love eggplant and always look for new ways to enjoy them, thank you for mentioning it. 🙂

  19. On my last trip to Lebanon I ate SOOOO Much Baba Ganosh! Thank you so much for sharing haha. Now I can make this, eat this and get fat on this in my own comfort haha

    1. I do like your comments, thank you so much. It is such a delicious dip, hard to resist. But to save you, perhaps you should share it with friends. 😉 That’s what I do or I may be tempted to eat it all. 🙂 🙂

  20. 5 stars
    I am actually cooking something similar today, but instead of tahini I am adding egg yolks and create some sort of a mayo whilst mixing the roasted eggplants. I can’t wait to taste it tonight.

    1. Hi Maria, there are some similarities with hummus so if you like that you will possibly enjoy the Baba Ganoush. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

  21. woahhhhhh! now i know that THE KEY TO MAKING THE BEST BABA GANOUSH LIES IN DEVELOPING A SMOKY FLAVOUR IN THE EGGPLANT!!! Thank you so much for always sharing the best recipes!

  22. 5 stars
    I absolutely love smokey flavors and eggplant! I have never tried baba ganoush yet though, but this recipe looks absolutely delicious! I will have to make it very soon

  23. I am going to try this recipe during this festival season. I’ve been looking for some offbeat out of the box recipes like this.

    1. Hi Katherine, they both have similar origins and are frequently side-by-side on a meze platter. It is delicious; let me know if you try it. 🙂

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  29. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this salad and it is the only way I actually enjoy eating aubergines. In my country we make it very similar, without the tahini but with onions. It is so good in summer, on top of warm bread.

  30. 5 stars
    I need to give this a try! I’ve only ever heard the name, I’ve never actually had it before. I love all the ingredients, though. It looks super tasty.

  31. 5 stars
    Yum! This looks so good. I usually would use the gas flame on stove, appreciate the tip on using foil!

  32. Sounds interesting! I had something similar the last time that I traveled to Europe and I had no idea how to recreate it. This sounds like the way to go! Plus I love eggplant!

    1. Well, Candace, I do hope that this recipe is similar to the one you remember. If you love eggplant I am confident that you will enjoy the dip. 🙂

  33. 5 stars
    The presentation looks so great..! And the dip is so so enticing..! Yum.. I will definitely try this.

  34. 5 stars
    I will definitely try this Baba Ganoush recipe sometime. I’m a big fan of eggplants, I will surely love it..

  35. This is a great recipe. It’s an amazing way to get some eggplant into kids who don’t eat it otherwise

  36. Thanks for the tip on when to buy the eggplant. I never knew so shied away from it. My oldest son buys it and makes a mean recipe I’d love to try my hand at making too.

  37. I have never tried to make a Baba Ganoush, it looks easy to make and looks really good and tasty. I will definite try to make this at home.

  38. Eggplant is very versatile, you can cook and add it to any dish. I just had eggplant enchilada paired with fried milkfish for lunch. Thanks for the recipe.

  39. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe! We have a barbeque coming u and I was wondering what dishes I could do for sharing with my friends and this one came up on my feed! Thanks heaps for sharing!

  40. I am literally drooling over this delicious baba ganoush. Though I have never tried it but it looks like a delicious recipe. Can’t miss it and will try out soon

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