Baba ghanoush with pomegranate molasses

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I’m not quite sure how this happened, but I’ve only just made baba ghanoush for the first time. I’ve eaten countless varieties of this dip in Turkish restaurants and other cafes/restaurants around London, but never made it myself. It’s probably because you have to wait a little while to drain the aubergine, and I’m often time poor. However, there’s no reason not to make it if you’ve got nothing better to do on a Saturday. And plus, burning aubergines is fun. Often the dips I’ve tasted are very yoghurt heavy, more like mutabal. Authentic baba ghanoush has no yoghurt and it seems there’s a big debate surrounding the addition of tahini too. I like to add just a teaspoon for a subtle background note of sesame – I want to taste the smoky aubergine first and foremost, but just a little adds a nice extra layer. Typically, this would also be scattered with pomegranate arils, but I find pomegranate molasses to be a superior substitution. I like the sticky sweet syrupy contrast – but that’s just me. Replace the molasses with a few fresh pomegranate arils if you disagree!IMG_3398

 

Serve as part of a mezze platter, grilled lamb or with crackers/flatbreads for a light lunch.


You will need:

4 small aubergines
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbspn freshly chopped mint
1 tbspn freshly chopped parsley
1 tspn tahini
Salt to taste
1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil, to serve
1 tbspn pomegranate molasses, to serve

Method:

1 – The first step is to burn the aubergines, which you’ll need to do in 2 batches. Turn on 2 large stove top gas burners to a high heat. Place 2 of the the aubergines directly onto the gas burners, turning them occasionally using metal tongs.
2 – Once the skins are blackened all over and the flesh inside is soft, set the aubergines aside and repeat with the remaining 2 aubergines.
3 – When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, remove the burnt skin and stems and finely chop the flesh. Place the aubergine flesh in a colander and drain for at least an hour.
4 – When ready to serve, place the drained aubergine flesh into a mixing bowl. Finely chop the fresh herbs and add most of this along with most the lemon zest, the lemon juice, garlic and the tahini to the aubergine.
5 – Mix well and season well with salt to taste.
6 – To serve, spoon the aubergine mix into a dish and scatter over the remaining herbs and lemon zest before drizzling with the olive oil and pomegranate molasses.

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10 thoughts on “Baba ghanoush with pomegranate molasses

  1. I love your version of Baba ghannouj, to me the most unusual addition in your recipe is actually the lemon. The yoghurt and tahini spread is indeed mutabbal. Baba ghannouj often has tiny pieces of tomatoes, onions and bell peppers in it as well as fresh herbs and pomegranate molasses and/or arils (I like both). I’ve even had it in Syria with chopped walnut. I absolutely adore it, I find it more subtle and flavorful than mutabbal.

    1. Oh that’s interesting! The lemon for me was a really crucial taste. Really works with and against the smokiness. I picked up the tip from an ottolenghi recipe, didn’t realise it was another element to debate! I like the sound of the chopped walnuts! I can’t imagine that you gain anything from tomatoes, onions or peppers. To me this dish is all about the aubergine and that’s it! So delicious. Thanks as always for your wise and interesting insights! Wish I could travel around that region more… I’m off to turkey in 2 months and can’t wait for all the new things I’m certain to discover! X

      1. I think you will love Turkey, I’ve only been in the Diyarbakir area and only stayed a few days, but it was wonderful. So beautiful. And the food was incredible.
        I do like baba ghannouj with tomatoes, that’s how it is made in Syria, so I am used to it. But I also make an Iraqi version with just eggplant and spices, and it is also really good (http://tortore.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/irak-recettes-dete-misquaat-betinjan-et-jajeek-puree-daubergines-epicee-et-yaourt-au-concombre/ )

      2. That does sound good! I know I’ll love it too. I’m so so excited! In going to two different areas, one in the south and another in the west. I’m sure you’ll hear all about it!

  2. Ottolenghi inspired indeed! I got so excited when I read this recipe… I’ve tried the same idea with pomegranate molasses and loved it. I didn’t realize that that the tahini was a debatable ingredient… interesting stuff! I don’t think it’d be as delicious (for me, as a Westerner!) without that creamy sesame. Gorgeous x

    1. Yeah apparently there’s quite a serious debate around it! Ha. I’d be happy to test all entries and try and come up with a winner. Love it both with and without!

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