Friday, 24 February 2012

Moutabbal/Baba Ghanoush

Muthabbal is one of the favorite Middle Eastern dips that comes along with most Middle Eastern platters. Made with grilled aubergines, these dip has a distiguishing smokey flavour. You can either chargrill it, bake it in oven or even cover in foil and cook it on hob fire. It is also known as baba ghanoush in many part of the Arab world.

Moutabbal/Baba Ghanoush
Serves 8-10

1 kilo Aubergines/Brinjal/egg plant
6 Tbsp Tahini paste
2 Tbsp Lemon/lime juice
3 Tbsp Olive oil plus extra to garnish
170g Yogurt
Salt to taste
Mint leaves and crushed cumin to garnish

1.Preheat the oven to 180⁰C - 200⁰C. Make few shallow slits on the aubergines and place them on an oiled tray. Bake them until the skin is blackened and aubergines are cooked through. You can also grill them by flipping sides when they are done. This would take around 30-45 minutes depending on the size of brinjals.

2. Let it cool down a bit and then hold them under cold running water and peel away the blackened skin or scoop out the flesh using a spoon discarding the charred skin away.

3. Place a sieve on a bowl . Chop the flesh of aubergine and put them into the sieve. Leave it in fridge  overnight. This drains away any bitter juice from the aubergines.

4. Place chopped brinjal, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil in a processer and pulse few times until you get nice thick chunky paste. If you don’t want to puree it, you can finely chop it and  mix it with other ingredients. I like to pulse it along with other ingredients into chunky dip. 
Drizzle with more olive oil while serving and garnish it with some fresh mint leaves and cumin powder.

1.Adding yogurt is optional. It is mainly used to mellow down the bitterness of brinjal. You may add less or more to suit you taste. Also add more lemon juice to suit your taste. Usually plenty of lemon juice is added to the dip. But I like it less tangy.

2. You can easily halve the given amount.
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