Ahh Baba Ganoush. Even the name is cool. While eggplant dip or aubergine dip is what this is, it’s so much more at the same time.
Baba Ganoush is smoky, soft and delicious. Hailing from the Arab and Levantine (Eastern Mediterranean) world, it’s also known as Baba Ghanoush and Baba Ghanouj.
The name apparently derives from a daughter who made a pulpy mash for her toothless old father – what can I say – toothless or not, he was treated well with this one!
What’s in a name? – Eggplant Dip vs Aubergine Dip
As if the name for the dip wasn’t varied enough, the vegetable itself changes names across the English-speaking world. In both the US and Australia, the venerable veggie is known as an eggplant.
And I should know, I had a job to pick them. I don’t mean it was difficult, I mean I was literally paid to pick them.
Across the water, in little ol’ Britain they know them as aubergines, and give confused looks to strangers who ask for eggplants. ‘What?!
Eggs in a plant! Impossible, you crazy fool!’ is the reply you’ll likely get for asking.
Whether you call them eggplants or aubergines, you still need to know what you’re looking for in this Baba Ganoush/Baba Ghanoush.
Feeling fruity? How to pick the right aubergines or eggplants for your dip
- Pick an eggplant up and give it a squeeze – it should be firm, but not rock hard. If it’s squishy or you can easily press your finger into it then it’s a big no, no, no!
- Heavy is good – if you’re slightly surprised by the weight of a particular eggplant, you’re probably onto a winner. As long as it follows the rest of the rules, heavier = better.
- Taut, shiny and glossy – that’s how the skin should be. Dull, wrinkled, blemished, damaged = not good. Avoid!
- Stick with small to medium aubergines. Larger aubergines can be (but are not always) more bitter, so stay smaller to be sure.
- Use quickly – eggplants have a fairly short usage life, and the quicker you eat them the less bitter they are. Store in the fridge and try to eat within a day or two of purchase.
Follow those tips and only the finest, most edible aubergines will make it to your table.
Health benefits of eggplants
We don’t feature aubergines/eggplants all that often on Hurry The Food Up, which is silly really, as they’re pretty spectacular from a nutritional point of view.
Eggplants contain Nasunin, a phytonutrient with antioxidant properties which seems to protect brain cell membranes from damage from free radicals. These lovely veggies are full of nutrients which seem to have some good evidence behind them for helping to keep us healthy.
High in fibre and low in calories, eggplants are also a great addition to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight.
What’s not to like? That daughter did good.
Baba Ganoush recipe FAQ’s
We’ve answered some of the most common questions about this roasted eggplant delicacy below, but if you have others just let us know in the comments section.
Is baba ganoush vegan?
Yep, our baba ganoush recipe is completely vegan.
Is it keto?
Thanks to the fact that it’s fairly low in carbohydrates, this recipe should be suitable for anyone eating keto.
How long does eggplant dip last?
You can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week in your fridge.
Will it freeze?
Yes, but we do recommend eating it fresh if possible to experience the rich, velvety texture of the dish as this may change once frozen.
If you do want to try freezing it, make sure it’s cooled well before popping it into the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature before eating.
You may need to give it a good stir to recombine all of the ingredients when defrosted.
How do you eat baba ganoush?
Once you taste this wonderful eggplant dish you’ll want to eat it with everything! We’ve put together some suggestions on the best way to serve it:
- With raw veggie sticks – carrot, cucumber and bell pepper work beautifully
- With pitta chips or slices – the perfect dipping tool for baba ganoush!
- On the side of dishes like falafel salad
- Spread on a pitta pocket, flatbread or sandwich
Baba Ganoush – The Father of all Eggplant Dips
- 1 handful pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbsp cilantro/coriander, fresh
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc.
- Put the eggplants on a oven tray with a splash of olive oil and some salt.
- Using a fork, poke a couple of holes in them.
- Add the garlic cloves as well. No need to peel them.
- Roast until tender ( 25-30 minutes).
- Let the eggplants cool for a while, then slice them open and carve out the “flesh”.
- With a beater or food processor mix the eggplant flesh with the rest of ingredients (juice the lemon and peel the garlic too before you throw it in).
- Serve in a bowl with some paprika and a splash of olive oil for garnish. You can eat as a dip with pitas, flatbread or nachos or as a side dish of main course.
- Stir in pomegranate seeds and cilantro to give this lovely Baba Ganoush an extra freshness kick.