Creamy aubergine, nutty tahini, zesty lemon and tangy garlic come together in this easy baba ganoush recipe to create one of the tastiest dips you'll ever try.
Baba ganoush (also spelled baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj) is a creamy aubergine dip, originating in Lebanon in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia.
Raw aubergines have a dark purple, shiny skin and a firm, spongy flesh, but the process of pricking and charring the aubergine causes flesh to break down.
This gives the flesh a lovely charred flavour, slippery soft texture, and makes it easy to scoop free from the blackened skin.
You can char the aubergine under a standard grill (broiler) and then make the dip in a single bowl, so not only is this recipe delicious, it's really easy too.
- 1 aubergine
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp light tahini or 1/2 tsp dark tahini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp lemon juice ¼ of a lemon
- Pinch salt and pepper
Set the grill to its highest setting. Prick the whole aubergines with a knife a few times then place on a baking tray
Place under the grill for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through (you might need more or less time depending on size of aubergines). The aubergines should be soft and collapsing with charred skins
Set the aubergine to one side to cool, when ready, cut open the skin.
Scoop out the flesh, be careful as hot steam might still come out. I like to hold the stalk end with an oven mitt or clean tea towel over a bowl, then slice down the middle of the aubergine, then while still holding it use a spoon and gravity to get everything out - and keep all the delicious juice too. You should be left with a dry charred skin, while everything else makes it into the bowl.
You should be left with only a thin, charred skin, which you can compost.
Add the tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl.
Mix well with a fork to mix, which should also up the aubergine. Give it a taste and add more lemon, olive oil or tahini to your liking. Remember you can always add but never take away!
Allow to cool in the fridge. As it cools the baba ganoush will thicken a little. Transfer to a serving dish.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of chopped parsley.
I hope you'll try making this easy baba ganoush recipe. It's utterly delicious with warm flatbread!
Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect baba ganoush
Is baba ganoush easy to make?
This recipe is super easy to make!
You'll prick the aubergine and place it on a baking tray under the hot grill (broiler) and cook until black and charred, allowing you to easily scoop out the slippery, soft flesh.
You'll then mash the aubergine flesh and stir in the tahini, garlic, seasoning and lemon juice.
And that's it! Just like that, you'll have perfect fresh baba ganoush.
Will I need any special equipment to make baba ganoush?
No, you won't need any special equipment to make baba ganoush, just measuring spoons and a citrus juicer, a kitchen knife, fork and spoon, a mixing bowl and a baking sheet.
What is tahini?
Tahini is made by blending sesame seeds until the oil is released and they turn into oily, loose paste. It's a popular ingredient in Levantine cuisine, where it's used in dishes such as hummus, halva and, of course, baba ganoush.
Where can I buy tahini?
You can buy tahini in most supermarkets.
If you can't find in your local supermarket, it's also readily available online and from specialist food shops.
What sort of tahini should I use?
Tahini tends to come in two varieties, either light or dark.
Dark tahini is made from unshelled sesame seeds and has a stronger flavour than light to tahini, which is made from hulled seeds.
You can use dark or light tahini in this recipe, but use it sparingly, especially if adding dark.
As much as tahini is capable of adding a really lovely, nutty flavour, it can also easily overpower a batch of baba ganoush and make it taste bitter.
Remember you can always add, but you can't remove.
How can I tell if my aubergine has gone off?
A healthy aubergine should have a shiny, smooth, dark purple-black skin with spongy white flesh inside.
If you're shopping and looking to choose between a fresh or older aubergine, a general rule of thumb is that fresh aubergines should feel heavy while spoiled ones might feel lighter.
A fresh aubergine should also feel firm - if it gives when you squeeze, or shows wrinkles in the flesh, they it is past their best.
You should also know for mould on the surface, which may look powdery. In particular, look around the leaves and stem at the top of the aubergine, as this can be the first area that goes bad externally.
When you cut the aubergine open, it should reveal fresh white with clean flesh, neat translucent rows of seeds. Any browning, damage, mould or decay revealed means that the aubergine is not fit to eat.
It should be noted, however, that once you cut an aubergine, the cut surface will begin to react with the oxygen in the air, slowly turning it brown. This is norma and doesn't mean the aubergine is unfit to eat.
Fresh aubergin doesn't smell much of anything, so if your aubergine has a strong, sour or musty smell before or after you cut into it, it should be thrown away.
Is this baba ganoush recipe suitable for vegetarians?
Yes. This recipe is suitable for vegetarians as it contains no meat or fish.
Is this baba ganoush recipe suitable for vegans?
Yes, this recipe is suitable for vegans as it contains no animal products.
You may wish to check the labels on your individual ingredients to make doubly sure.
Is this baba ganoush recipe gluten-free?
Yes, this baba ganoush recipe is gluten-free as none of the ingredients, naturally contain gluten.
However, if you are making this dip for somebody who needs to avoid gluten in their diet, then it is important to check the label on every individual ingredient to be sure they are fully gluten free
Is this baba ganoush recipe keto-friendly?
Yes. This recipe is low in carbohydrate and so should be suitable for a ketoenic diet.
Is baba ganoush healthy?
A serving of this aubergine dip contains approximately 137 calories. 15 grams of carbohydrate, 3g of protein and 9g of fat, 1g of which is saturated.
If you serve this baba ganoush with plenty of veggies and salad, then it can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced meal
Is baba ganoush safe to eat while pregnant?
There is nothing in this recipe that should present a risk to pregnant people if the ingredients are in good condition and have been stored correctly, and the recipe is cooked hygienically and safely.
A Mummy Too does not offer medical advice. You can review the NHS advice here and you should consult with your medical professional regarding any concerns.
Is baba ganoush suitable for babies and toddlers?
Baba ganoush could be a great way to introduce the flavour of aubergine to young palates. However, I recommend leaving out the salt if feeding to children, particularly babies.
Babies and young children tend to have a palate that leans towards preferring sweet flavours. That doesn't mean you need to wean them on sweet foods, of course, but you might want to reduce the tahini and lemon juice content to just a dab at first.
Always give food at an appropriate size and shape for your baby or child. Cut small, round foods, like grapes and cherry tomatoes, into small pieces.
Always keep babies supported upright while eating and supervise your baby when they’re eating in case they start to choke.
The NHS has some excellent advice on feeding babies.
This website does not offer medical advice: always consult your health professional if you have any concerns.
What goes well with baba ganoush?
Baba ganoush is fantastic scattered within fresh coriander and served with warm flatbread and plenty of salad.
As baba ganoush is a Lebanese dish, I like to serve it with other dishes from that region, such as tabouleg (a gorgeous salad made with chopped parsley, with tomatoes, mint, onion and bulgur wheat), shwarma (thinly cut meat, often served in flatbread) and falafel (a chickpea-based fritter flavoured with coriander, cumin and onions).
Can I make this recipe without tahini?
You can make this recipe without tahini, but you will miss out on an important element of the baba ganoush flavour.
If you are avoiding tahini because you dislike the flavour of sesame seeds, or simply because you haven't got any in stock, you could try using an unsweetened smooth peanut butter instead.
Be sure to use it sparingly to avoid overpowering the flavours of the dish.
Can I add extra tahini to this recipe?
If you love tahini, then go ahead and add more but not without testing and tasting the recipe first as too much tahini will result in a bitter dip that might not be to everybody's taste.
How should I store baba ganoush?
Baba ganoush should be covered within an hour of making and placed in an airtight container in the fridge will keep for up to seven days.
Can I leave baba ganoush out on the counter?
You should not leave Burgundy's out on the counter for any longer than one hour after making as it could develop dangerous levels of bacteria.
Make sure that you've transferred it to the refrigerator in a sealed container within one hour of making.
Can I make baba ganoush ahead?
You could, in theory, char your aubergine the night before, scoop out the flesh, cover the bowl and pop it in the fridge overnight, then finish making the dip in the morning.
However, as it's so simple to the recipe, it's probably easier just to make the whole thing in advance, transfer it to a sealed container and pop it in the refrigerator ready for when you want it.
Can I freeze baba ganoush?
You might already know that because of its high water content, raw aubergine doesn't freeze very well. You might therefore reasonably expect that baba ganoush won't either.
However, because the flesh has been cooked down and cooled in this recipe, and because the dip contains lemon juice, baba ganoush actually freezes very well indeed.
Transfer the baba ganoush to a sealed container and place in the refrigerator to chill within an hour of making. Once cool, transfer to the freezer where it should then keep up to three months
Can I make this baba ganoush recipe in a different quantity?
To do so, simply scroll down to the recipe card found at the bottom of this page and click or hover over the servings number. A slider will appear that you can use to adjust the serving number, which will also automatically adjust all the ingredient quantities you need.
Can I make baba ganoush in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer?
You could in theory, make this baba ganoush in a standard mixer but if making in small quantities there's really no need.
However, if you're making a very large quantity, you could put the scooped out aubergine flesh into a stand mixer and mash it down using the paddle attachment, then add the other ingredients and mix again. This should work quite well.
Can I make baba ganoush with a food processor?
You can make baba ganoush using a food processor or blender to produce a completely smooth dip, if you wish.
I prefer to mash it to retain some texture but the choice is yours.
How can I make sure my aubergine is perfectly cooked?
If you follow the instructions given in the recipe then aubergine should turn out perfectly cooked. Simply grill until it is black and has collapsed.
If you feel like it's taking too long past the time recommended, you can try gently pressing on the aubergine with the back of the spoon to see if it collapses.
Next, it splits open easily to reveal soft, slippery flesh that separates easily from the skin, then your aubergine is perfectly cooked.
Why did my baba ganoush turn out bitter?
The most likely reason for a bitter baba ganoush is too much tahini. Remember, dark tahini is stronger than light tahini and both have the ability to easily overpower a dish.
So, add the tahini sparingly and slowly, tasting between additions until you're happy with the final result.
Too much lemon juice can also result in bitterness, but is less likely.
Why did my baba ganoush turn out watery?
If you have a particularly small aubergine, you might need to go more easily on the other ingredients. Again, you can add but you can't take away, so make this recipe patiently to get the perfect result.
Alternatively, it could be that your aubergine released a particularly large amount of water when cooking.
You can drain the water off into a separate bowl, if you wish. You can then add a little back in, if needed, once you've got the flavour balance with the other ingredients just how you like it.
Why did my baba ganoush turn out thick?
If your baba ganoush is excessively thick, it might be that you haven't added enough lemon juice, or oil. Taste before deciding which to add more of.
How can I add/change the flavours in my baba ganoush?
Baba ganoush is perfect just as it's traditionally made so if you've never tried it before, I wouldn't recommend changing a thing.
However, if you'd like to explore tweaking the recipe, you can add more spices. For example, you could add a pinch of cumin or paprika. It's really up to you.
Why is it called baba ganoush?
The name baba ganoush comes from the Arabic phrase baba gannuj, which roughly translates as "father" and "pampered".
The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that perhaps the name was a reference to its invention by a member of a pampered Sultan's harem.
Print this easy baba ganoush recipe
Easy baba ganoush recipe
- 1 aubergine
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp light tahini or 1/2 tsp dark tahini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp lemon juice ¼ of a lemon
- Pinch salt and pepper
- Set the grill to its highest setting. Prick the whole aubergines with a knife a few times then place on a baking tray
- Place under the grill for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through (you might need more or less time depending on size of aubergines). The aubergines should be soft and collapsing with charred skins
- Set the aubergine to one side to cool, when ready, cut open the skin.
- Scoop out the flesh, be careful as hot steam might still come out. I like to hold the stalk end with an oven mitt or clean tea towel over a bowl, then slice down the middle of the aubergine, then while still holding it use a spoon and gravity to get everything out – and keep all the delicious juice too. You should be left with a dry charred skin, while everything else makes it into the bowl.
- You should be left with only a thin, charred skin, which you can compost.
- Add the tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl.
- Mix well with a fork to mix, which should also up the aubergine. Give it a taste and add more lemon, olive oil or tahini to your liking. Remember you can always add but never take away!
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- Allow to cool in the fridge. As it cools the baba ganoush will thicken a little. Transfer to a serving dish.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of chopped parsley.
- [could also be done in a food processor for a smoother finish, note on tahini the darker the colour the stronger the taste so if you can only get brown tahini use half as much as it can easily over power]
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