This authentic baba ganoush recipe makes the traditional Middle Eastern eggplant dip – also spelt baba ghanoush, baba ghanouj and baba ganouj – that’s eaten with flatbread as one of an array of Arabic mezze or appetisers. Made with smoky grilled eggplants, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil, it’s super easy to make and tastes better homemade.
If you made our creamy hummus recipe for another traditional Arabic dip that also typically features as part of a spread of mezze or starters, which we often liken to Middle Eastern tapas, you’re going to love our authentic baba ganoush recipe for a classic Middle Eastern eggplant dip. It’s fantastic with beef kofta and kebabs.
Like our homemade hummus recipe, which Terence learnt to make from a Lebanese friend when we lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates for almost eight years from the late 1990s through to 2006, this baba ganoush recipe is as authentic as Arabic dips get.
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Now let’s tell you more about our authentic baba ganoush recipe for the classic Middle Eastern aubergine dip.
Baba Ganoush Recipe for the Traditional Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
This baba ganoush recipe is as genuine as Middle Eastern dips get. We ate Arabic food a handful of times a week every week during the almost 8 years that we lived in the United Arab Emirates and over the several years following when we travelled the region as travel writers and guidebook authors.
When we lived in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we’d eat some kind of Arabic food most days, whether it was my students bringing boxes of za’atar croissants to the staff room for faculty for our breakfast (we were so spoilt!) or whether Terence and I were dining out at Middle Eastern restaurants, ordering home delivery or cooking Arabic cuisines at home.
I only have a few tips to making this easy authentic baba ganoush recipe as it really is an easy dish to make.
Tips to Making this Authentic Baba Ganoush Recipe for the Traditional Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
As usual, just a few tips to making this easy authentic baba ganoush recipe as it really is an easy dish to make. As with the hummus recipe, and so many recipes, do try to you use great quality ingredients, especially when it comes to your eggplants, tahini and olive oil.
Also endeavour to use fresh lemons to squeeze your lemon juice if you can source them, as they taste so much better than concentrated lemon juice. If you have to use store-bought lemon juice, you will probably want to use less than we recommend.
The beauty of this baba ganoush recipe is that the eggplants can be roasted, barbecued, grilled or baked, so you have options. The best method for preparing the eggplants is to roast them over a live flame from a fireplace or over a gas stovetop, or do them on a barbecue or under an oven-grill or broiler.
Whatever you use, your aim should be to cook the eggplants until the skins are charred and the eggplants are soft to touch. Cooking times will vary dramatically depending on the method you choose, but could take anything from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
Baba ganoush will keep well in a sealed container for a few days in a fridge, so there’s no reason to leave this until the last minute. This is definitely a recipe that you can make ahead if you’re preparing a spread of Arabic meze or a Middle Eastern feast.
You’ll need to use tongs to transfer each eggplant to a plastic bag as they’re going to be scorching hot. Carefully tie up each bag and then leave them to rest on a cutting board so that the steam loosens the charred skin from the eggplants, making them easier to peel.
You’ll want to allow the eggplants to cool down enough so that you don’t burn your fingers, then you can peel off a section of the aubergine skin and use a tablespoon or large serving spoon to scoop out the eggplant flesh, scraping the skin to get out as much aubergine flesh as you can, discarding any seeds in the process.
If the eggplant skin falls away entirely so that this isn’t possible, then simply peel off all the skin, and scrape off as much aubergine flesh as you can from the cutting board and transfer it to a bowl.
If liquid hasn’t ooze out from the eggplants (which can happen if you’re using smaller sized eggplants or your oven isn’t getting hot enough), then transfer the eggplant flesh to a fine mesh colander and let it sit there for 5-10 minutes, so that it strains, otherwise you might end up with mushy eggplant and an unpleasant baba ganoush texture.
Once you’ve been able to drain as much liquid as possible, transfer the strained eggplant flesh, as well as the tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, and sea salt to a blender or food processor and blend for a few minutes until you have a lovely thick and creamy baba ganoush.
If your baba ganoush is too densely textured, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and blend it again. Our eggplants vary dramatically here and sometimes I find I need to add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to get the right texture.
Do taste the baba ganoush and adjust the olive oil, as well as the seasoning, to your liking, so you get the right texture.
Lastly, scoop out the baba ganoush and transfer it to a serving bowl, drizzle on another tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil, and garnish with finely diced tomato and sprigs of fresh fragrant coriander or continental parsley.
Serve your baba ganoush with slices of Arabic flatbread or pita bread – or even better with bowls of homemade hummus, tabbouli and fattoush, piping hot falafel, and a mixed grill platter.
Baba Ganoush Recipe for the Traditional Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
- 2 large eggplants
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 6 tbsp lemon juice – preferably freshly squeezed
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tsp sea salt – or to taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – or to taste
- 1 small ripe red tomato finely diced
- 2 sprigs of fresh coriander or parsley
- Roast, barbecue, grill or bake the eggplants over a live flame over a fire on a gas stovetop, a barbecue, or under an oven-grill or broiler until the eggplant skins are charred and the eggplants are soft to touch. Times will vary depending on the method used, but it could take anything from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
- Use tongs to transfer each eggplant to a plastic bag, tie up each bag, and leave them to rest so that the steam loosens the charred skin, making the eggplants easier to peel.
- Allow the eggplants to cool enough so that you won’t burn your fingers, then peel off a section of skin and use a large tablespoon to scoop out the eggplant flesh, scraping the skin to remove as much flesh as possible, discarding any seeds. If the eggplant skin falls away so that this isn’t possible, simply peel off the entire skin.
- If the liquid didn’t ooze out from the eggplants, transfer the eggplant flesh to a fine mesh colander and let them sit for 5 minutes or so to strain.
- Transfer the strained eggplant flesh, tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, and sea salt to a blender or food processor and blend for a few minutes until you have a thick and creamy baba ganoush. If it’s too dense, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and blend again. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Spoon the baba ganoush into a serving bowl, drizzle on another tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, garnish with finely diced tomato and a few sprigs of fresh coriander or parsley, and serve with slices of an Arabic flatbread or pita bread.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make this homemade baba ganoush recipe for an authentic Middle Eastern aubergine dip as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.