For those of you who don’t know, though I expect many of you do, baba ghanoush is a dip of Levantine origin made using charred aubergine (eggplant). In its traditional form it contains ingredients similar to hummus, though this version diverges from the norm just a smidge. To be perfectly honest, as one must, I prefer hummus to the more traditional versions of baba ghanoush. However, spices like cumin and coriander seem to work exceptionally well with aubergine, a fruit I’m not particularly fond of, and serve to bring it well and truly to life.
It seems that the “correct” way to make baba ghanoush is to roast the fruit over a naked flame, something easily achieved if one is in possession of a gas hob. However, not all of us have the luxury of such a thing and had to plump for the far less exciting option of roasting my aubergines. The result remained delicious, as one might imagine, but the smokiness of the resultant dip didn’t quite reach the level it should have.
This recipe packs quite the punch, which, in my opinion, dips always should. After all, the real beauty of a dip does not belong to its accompanying crudité, but to the depth of flavour it possesses. However, if one is in possession of a mild-mannered mouth, feel free to alter the quantity of chilli and garlic present – my objective is not to alienate.
In terms of my life in Bristol and how it currently relates to blogging I’ve hit a bit of a stumbling block, but it shan’t keep me down for too long. I’m fairly certain the lighting in my new flat is a little rubbish, not that I’ve spent much time here during the day. However, an artificial light source is soon to be purchased and set up, meaning a return to regular recipes in looming on the horizon. For now, enjoy this delicious dip and don’t worry – I have another post in reserve!
Cumin Spiced Baba Ghanoush
Makes 1 large bowl
• 2 large aubergines
• 2 cloves of garlic
• The juice of 1 lemon
• A drizzle of olive oil, perhaps 2-3 tbsp
• 1 tsp whole cumin
• A handful of fresh coriander
• 1 fresh red chilli, seeds and all
• 1 tbsp greek yoghurt (optional)
• Salt and pepper
1. Pierce and roast the aubergines in a hot oven, around 220C, for 60 minutes until they appear a little charred. Alternatively, toast over a naked flame. Scoop out the innards and set aside.
2. Take your cumin and lightly toast the seeds. Grind them in a mortar and pestle. Throw everything into a food processor and blend until smooth, very the amount of oil to perfect the consistency, it shouldn’t be at all sloppy. Season and serve with pita or my rather spectacular garlic flatbreads.
Cost: This recipe will never be as cheap as hummus since aubergines have the annoying tendency to cost rather a lot more than chickpeas. Still, at around £2.10 this dip won’t exactly break the proverbial bank.