Like the ubiquitous hummus, this is a dish of indeterminate origins, it pops up, under a variety of names, from Turkey to Egypt as a dip, a salad, or a vegetable side. The Arabic term means "father of pestle" ("baba" means father and "ghanuj" derives from "ghan", stone for pressing cheese or grain). In essence, it's a delicious smoky dip; the ultimate aubergine recipe!
- 2 large aubergines (about 650g)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- plus a little extra
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp chopped mint or flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds (optional)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 5mins
Cost Average budget
Blacken the aubergines over a gas hob or barbeque, turning regularly with tongs, until completely charred and collapsed (you may wish to surround the rings with foil, as it can be messy). Allow to cool.
Slit the aubergines lengthways and scoop out the flesh in long strands, discarding the skins. Put in a sieve and leave to drain for 30 minutes, or squeeze out if you're in a hurry. Season.
In a serving bowl, stir the lemon juice into the tahini until it loosens up. Add the garlic and two-thirds of the chopped herbs, and season again to taste. Add a squeeze more lemon juice if necessary.
Mash the aubergines gently with a fork, and then stir into the tahini mixture. Top with the remaining herbs and the pomegranate seeds, if using. Pour a moat of oil around the edge and serve.
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