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Cumin Spiced Baba Ghanoush

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.

100 replies on “Cumin Spiced Baba Ghanoush”

Thanks for posting this – I’ve been meaning to make this for ages, and when you mentioned the lack of “smokiness” I immediately thought of my smoked salt I posted about recently. That might do the trick! If I do get round to trying it, I’ll let you know! Love the idea of adding cumin too. 😀

I really don’t eat baba ghanoush often enough despite being a great lover of aubergine. I once had it made with smoked aubergine – best thing ever! I like that you added yoghurt to it though – it makes a nice change from the usual!

I shall definitely give this one a go. I had electric stove when we moved into this house but converted to gas for cooking. This is be great for this recipe. It is amazing how I was also checking for your wonderful table! 🙂

I love baba ghanoush! Any benefit to roasting the eggplants whole versus sliced in half?

Years ago, I taught English in the Czech Republic and the students were to learn British English (I’m American). Everything thing was fine until the word “aubergine” appeared in a text book…an embarrassing first day seeing as I had never heard that word before.

You could add a little smoked paprika to get the desired smokiness that you miss through roasting…or you could go the whole hog and roast that sucker till it got well charred on high and sacrifice some of the outside flesh ;). A wonderful recipe that will be most appreciated when the weather is hot and I could care less about eating let alone cooking. I know that day is coming sooner rather than later but I am clinging pathetically to winter, warm fires, Brunhilda our enormous wood burning stove and endless free hot water…I am not a fan of heat. Once eggplants come down in price I will make this AND I may even whack a couple of eggplant punnets in to grow our own this year. Cheers for another fantastic recipe, as simply and silkily seductive as it is scrumptious 🙂

I love this …i live in Canada and i do have a BBQ in the summer when my garden is full of eggplant i make this dish by the bowlfull….It’s the only way i have convinced my husband to eat eggplant so far lol

I love eating this and really need to make this for myself,even if my teenagers will not eat it. I don’t like to be deprived of the things that are so delicious and actually quite healthy as well.

I’ve missed your frequent posts, Nick. The light, or the lack of, in the early evenings is dismal here at best. I can compensate on Picmonkey by dialing up the exposure. I’m curious to know what light you choose. Baba Ghanoush is a favorite dip of mine.. I char my stuff on the barbecue. I wonder if a blow torch would work, lol?

This looks excellent! We’ll contend with the dark months together–can’t we just all agree that bloggers from dark places (ahem, Seattle) can just post poorly-lit photos? 🙂

Looks very scummy! I love eggplant (aubergine if you will), in any variety. Be interested to hear how you go with artificial light source, I bought a light box awhile ago but still haven’t set it up… slack, very slack.

Nick ~ I’m a great fan of aubergine and have often looked to recipes from Sicily, the Levant and Middle East for inspiration and guidance. I don’t have a gas hob either, so I slice the skin off in a zebra-like pattern, then thinly slice the aubergine. I put the slices of auberine onto a tray and douse them with olive oil & season them and put them into an oven at a very high temperature. They always taste slightly smoky, so this method works well enough. I hope you find many ways to embrace aubergine.

Yes, feedback on your lighting setup would be great! All of us Northerners are struggling with the same thing.. Last time I made this I just mashed with a fork and it was horribly lumpy. Food processor is definitely necessary. That flatbread – nom.

Thanks for liking my post about Japanese curry, frugalfeeding! Have you tried it before?
Adding cumin to this aubergine classic reminds me of the street vendors in China, liberally sprinkling spices on whatever is being grilled. They first grill the aubergine, then slit it down from the stem and spread it wide. A spice blend is added and the flesh becomes mushy- its consistency evokes a Hunanese-style dish called 擂辣椒茄子 lei lajiao qiezi, or mashed aubergine and hot peppers- one of my favourites.

Delicious. I made a half batch and ate the whole thing at lunch. I used some left-over eggplant that we’d barbecued on the grill a couple days ago and it tasted spectacular. Thanks so much for the recipe.

Your oven roasted baba ganoush sounds wonderful. I have to agree with you on dips needing to pack a punch, as people can always give their flatbread a token single dip if they aren’t a fan of strong flavours. Thanks for sharing the fantastic recipe

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