Eggplant dip (Baba Ghannouj)

I attended a French high school in Lebanon, Lycée Franco-Libanais and in France as well. Literature was an important portion of the curriculum and we studied all the French authors, from Rabelais to Molière (every single play) to Balzac and Zola and Flaubert; we did’n’t bother with Shakespeare. However, we did touch on the Russian authors.

My favorite was Dostoevsky; his characters were so emotional and crazy. Here’s a quote from one of his books.

” There are certain things in a man’s past which he does not divulge to everybody but, perhaps, only to his friends. Again, there are certain things he will not divulge,  even to his friends; he will divulge them perhaps only to himself, and that, too, as a secret. But, finally, there are which he is afraid to divulge even to himself, and every decent man has quite an accumulation of such things in his mind.” (Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground)

Why this introduction? To admit one thing publicly: I do use (from time to time) cans of prepared hummus and eggplant dip!

I have used them especially when I  had  a few friends over and they would not detect the (gasp!) subterfuge.

Using a can is the difference between 10 minutes of work and 45 minutes of roasting an eggplant carefully over a grill until all the skin is blistered and peeling it and draining it.

A can requires: opening it, dumping it in a bowl and adding the following:

  • one tablespoon of yogurt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons of tahini
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed with a dash of salt

Mix  well, taste to adjust seasoning, serve.

Feel free to throw in your two-cent!

NOTE: Do you know what ” Baba Ghannouj” means in Arabic? Baba is daddy and ghannouj is an adjective that means “he is a spoiling, cuddling, daddy”

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74 Comments

  1. Posted April 27, 2010 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Tres Bien!
    You are so brave for that admission (which we have all done). I love learning the arabic translations-What do you use for taosting (the drink, not the bread)?

  2. Posted April 27, 2010 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    This is my favorite thing to make in the summer with fresh eggplant. I love it. I find grilling the eggplant really boosts the flavor. I have roasted it in the oven and it is just not the same. I think canned is okay sometimes. Some commercial brand hummus and baba ghannouj is really good!

  3. Posted April 27, 2010 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Gee. ‘Baba’ in the Balkan language means grandma or old lady. Now that is a contrast to a Dad isn’t it! Thanks for being so honest. My goodness. Eggplant in a can. I must confess I have never seen it before. I admire your bravery in divulging but my insides are secretly screaming out “a can – you must be joking”. Aren’t we funny we humans?

  4. Posted April 27, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Oh good! Another thing I will be picking up at my new favorite store in the city! Already wrote the name down and stuck it in my purse.

  5. Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Gosh – I love your story – you just made me laugh because I had a big party last Saturday and made my humus from scratch :) and I worked so hard on it – I even when to a special Oriental shop to get the best ingredients, but funny enough I didn’t think of getting a ready can :) I wish I ready our story earlier :) BTW the quotation is fabulous. cheers!

  6. Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I love this dip as well as hummous! I eat so often – almost daily! Ironically here in Algeria, most ppl have never heard of this or hummous! I made this for my husband even we first got married, at first he thought it was strange but then after tasting it loved it! I love your presentation! so nice!

  7. Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Nothing beats the homemade version but I am like you serving shop bought ones from time to time :)

  8. Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Isn’t tahini the best stuff! We just love it! Wonderful styling and photos!

  9. Posted April 27, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    The homemade version of babaganoush and hummus always take the cake. They are so fresh and flavorful, especially with lots of garlic. Love how you’ve served the the dip in the eggplant.

  10. Posted April 27, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I love love love baba ghannouj! It has my favorite thing in it – eggplant:) I didn’t know what it means in Arabic, thank you for letting me know. An Azerbaijani friend asked me for it once and I didn’t know. Now I know:)

  11. Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh! I love your confession! I was stunned when I read it!

  12. Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    You know what I always get from a can? Stuffed grape leaves.

  13. Posted April 27, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    I love it! over here we call it ‘Mutabal’ and I sometimes even use it in my sandwiches :)

  14. Posted April 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    You are too funny and smart, I love it! What other blogger manages to segue using Dostoevsky like this??? No one! Also, how funny about the baba gannouj. I think we all have that one packaged product that is actually really good with a little dressing up – and as you say, if no one knows, it doesn’t count… I love to use those canned Thai curry pastes and just dump them into a can of coconut milk with veggies.

  15. Posted May 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    lol cool story man.

  16. Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed the story. I use cans all the time when needing a quick fix, and you’re so right: it’s hard to tell with the addition of a few ingredients.
    Loved your presentation. Lovely photos.

  17. Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I had no idea you could buy tins of Baba Ghannouj! And if they are up to your standards, they must be good, I’ll keep my eyes peeled :)

    Love your presentation with this too!

  18. Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Thank for your comment! what a lovely visit I had on your blog, just the kind of food I can get crazy on, but not that able to do it! I’ll come back. See you (and I take note of the recipe I definitely have to buy tahini!)

  19. ghasemi
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sales Manager
    Subject : buying packed mutable (baba ghanoush )

    Thank you very much for your kindly attend to my Email .
    It is a great pleasure for us to introduce our Company of “PTC Trading Co.” as a food supplier in Iran ( Tehran) . Let’s say you , mutable is a pleasurable Appetizers in Iran and That’s why we are interesting to import that’s from a great mutable producer company and sell in Iran.
    Therefore now We are looking for buying packed mutable in large quantity and for long term .
    We have seen your website. Therefore we will very thankful that If it is possible for you to supply packed mutable , send us your products specification and some image from that’s .
    We will very happy to make a good and long term business with you .

    our address is :
    http://WWW.PTC-Trading.com
    Email:info@ptc-trading.com , managingdirector@ptc-trading.com
    Tel: 0098-21- 22710414
    Fax : 0098-21-22753417

    With many thanks
    Davood ghasemi

  20. Posted November 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    i had a dream about him…Baba Ghannough…..well it was only a dream…but ive been searching and searching for the answer to who made this dish famous? was he a holy man or saint or just an over-indulgent father? any clues anybody? this was the first site i found to even define the name ghannouj…..
    thanks!

  21. Posted November 24, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful pic & presentation, a nice departure from those Thanksgiving heavy dishes

  22. Posted November 28, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    What charming commentary! Love it!

  23. Posted April 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Superbe visuel j’en reste….baba, encore un visuel qui me donne des idées…

  24. Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    whoah this blog is great i really like studying your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You realize, many people are searching around
    for this information, you could aid them greatly.

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