- Baba ghanoush
Baba ghanoush (Arabic بابا غنوج "bābā ġanūj") is a popular Levantine dish of
eggplant(aubergine) mashed and mixed with various seasonings. Frequently the eggplant is baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste. [Khayat, Marie Karam and Keatinge, Margaret Clark - "Food from the Arab World", Khayats, Beirut, Lebanon]
Baba ghanoush is usually eaten as a dip with
pitabread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is usually of an earthy light brown color.
Around the world
In some parts of the
Levant, baba ghanoush is a starter/appetizer made of auberginewith finely diced onions, tomatoes and other vegetables blended in. It is normally served with a dressing of oil and pomegranate concentrate. In Lebanon in particular, it is made of roasted, peeled and mashed aubergine, blended with garlic and spices and topped with olive oil.
A similar dish is known as "mutabbal" in the
Levant. Traditionally, the eggplant is first roasted in an oven for approximately 30 minutes. The softened flesh is scooped out, squeezed to remove excess water, and is then pureed with the tahini. There are many variants of the recipe, especially the seasoning. Possible seasonings include garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt, mint, and parsley. When served on a plate or bowl, it is traditional to drizzle the top with olive oil. [The Cooking of the Middle-East ("Foods of the World") - Time-Life Books (1969)]
Israel, the most common version is made from mashed grilled aubergines with tahiniand spices. Sometimes the tahini is replaced by mayonnaise[Bossie Krapfman, "Call it Baba Gnoosh or Salad Chetzelem" "The Jewish Magazine" June 2003; http://jewishmag.com/104mag/babagnoosh/babagnoosh.htm] and the salad is called "סלט חצילים" (aubergine salad).
In Northern India, particularly the Punjab province,
Baingan Barthais a similar dish prepared by grilling Indian eggplant over open charcoal flame to impart a smoky flavor to the flesh and then cooked with an assortment of spices, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Served with Indian breads like Paratha, Roti, Kulcha, etc.
It is also known and loved in
Turkeyand it is called Baba Gannuş(literally: Father Gannush)
* [http://www.wonderfulingredients.com/baba-ghanouj A recipe for Lebanese Baba ghanouj] - a roasted eggplant & tahini dip
Eggplant salads and appetizers- an overview of eggplant salads and appetizers all around the world
* David, Elizabeth - A Book of Mediterranean Food - Alfred A. Knopf (1950) ISBN 0-394-49153-X
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