Baba Ganoush. Even the name is cool. Strictly speaking, it’s eggplant dip or aubergine dip, but really it’s so much more.
This Baba Ganoush recipe is smoky, soft and delicious. Hailing from the Arab and Levantine (Eastern Mediterranean) world, it’s also known as Baba Ghanoush and Baba Ghanouj.
Like hummus, this middle eastern recipe is based on tahini, garlic and a sprinkle of paprika, making it explode with flavour.
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 Canada, the US, and Australia, the venerable veggie is known as an eggplant.
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.
But regardless of whether you call this an eggplant dip recipe or an aubergine dip recipe, 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 this fabulous aubergine recipe 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. Plus, vegan eggplant recipes are pretty popular!
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 recipe below, but if you have others just let us know in the comments section.
Is this vegan baba ganoush?
Yep, our baba ganoush recipe is a completely vegan dip.
Is it baba ganoush 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 this baba ganoush recipe 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.
Can I skip the Tahini?
Look, we know tahini can be a little pricey and it’s not a super common ingredient, but it’s integral to middle eastern cuisine for a good reason. It really is crucial for the creaminess of this delish little eggplant dip.
Plus, there are tons of recipes with tahini in them once you start looking (like this classic hummus recipe, for example)!
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 pita chips or slices – the perfect dipping tool for baba ganoush!
- On the side of dishes like falafel salad
- Spread on a pita pocket, flatbread or sandwich
And if you’re stuck on the hummus vs baba ganoush debate, these options all work well with both!
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.