The ultimate baba ganoush recipe is simple but results in a rich, smoky and irresistible dip that is insanely delicious. This is one of my favorite dips that pairs perfectly with grilled meat or fish.
Baba ganoush also baba ghanoush is a recipe that almost everyone has his own favorite version of. This is a basic recipe you can start with, I will include add-ons at the end of this post so you can play with the recipe as you like.
Here is what you'll need:
- Eggplants: we will use globe eggplants. I've never done it with any other type of eggplants.
- Lime/ lemon juice.
- Tahini paste: some people do not like to use tahini in their baba ganoush but I grew up with a version that has it there.
- Olive oil.
- Spices, we will need cumin and coriander along with salt.
- Cayenne pepper: this is an optional thing but I highly recommend it if you can handle it. Gives a great kick to the overall flavors.
How to make Baba Ganoush
You'll be amazed how easy it is to make homemade baba ganoush, adapt it to your own style then bring your preferred veggies to dig in.
- Roasting your eggplants: Make a slit lengthwise in your eggplant with a knife but do not open it just a slit to release pressure. If you do not do that, the skin will burst and it will be hard to finish roasting the eggplant to its full potential.
- Turning it: Using tongs, turn it all around to make sure it has totally blackened. We need to get the whole thing blackened and shrivel.
- Scoop: With a spoon, scoop all the flesh out, do not get scared if parts of the skin came in with you. This actually enhances the flavor and I like it.
- Add all the ingredients and mix: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together with a fork. You can use a food processor for this step if you like it super smooth with no texture at all.
How long does Baba Ganoush last in the fridge?
In some rare cases, I've safely consumed baba ganoush that has been in the fridge for well over a week. We love baba ghanoush and it is very rare for it to last in our fridge for over 3 days. Although I always recommend eating baba ganoush fresh as it can become more pungent over time, baba ganoush can be made a head of time, stored in an air tight container in your fridge for 3 days and leftovers can be stored for up to a week.
What culture is Baba Ganoush?
The origin of this recipes, according to many Arabic websites, goes back to the first century. Some say it originated in Lebanon, others say in the Levant area in general or in Turkey.
Legends say, there was this priest named father Ghanoush, who was very lovable and kind. Many people loved this man and one of the villagers/students made this dish for him. Because he was so generous, he refused to eat it all by himself and made a feast of it. The good man invited the whole village and everyone loved it and so they named it after the priest "Baba Ghanoush" or Father Ghanoush. Pretty interesting.
Baba Ganoush Tips:
- Buying eggplants: let's start from the beginning as this is extremely important. Look for small to medium eggplants as large ones tend to have more seeds and bitterness. Avoid blemished skin and look for shiny, smooth and little firm ones. Take a closer look at the stem, it should be green and free of mold. Eggplants should be heavy for their size which indicates more fresh flesh. Better to cook them within one day of purchase, just roast them and refrigerate if you do not have time to make baba ganoush at that day.
- Roasting eggplants for baba ganoush: Many people are confused about how to roast eggplant for baba ganoush. I grew up to a mom, grand moms, great grand moms, and everyone else in Egypt who roasted eggplants over their gas stovetops. It makes a wonderful, tender, smoky eggplant flesh. I can also suggest using your grill. But, if this is not your thing, for health or other issues, you can happily oven roast it whole and I saw others slice eggplants then broil. So you choose what is best for you, but for me I always do it that way even when I had an electric coil stove top. But do not forget to open the windows please 😀.
- To drain or not to drain: Let me tell you that I've never drained an eggplant for baba ganoush. Maybe because I ALWAYS roast mine on the stovetop even when I had a coil stove top. Eggplants drip their water while they are being roasted stovetop or grilled. So if you broil yours in the oven you may want to let your eggplant drip in a colander for 15 minutes or so.
- Using food processor: If my mom saw me using a food processor for baba ganoush, she will give me that look😒. But again this is a matter of personal preference. If you like yours super smooth, then use a food processor. For us, baba ganoush should have texture.
I grew up to a father who was crazy about eggplants, really, my late father used to love eggplants in almost any form, and baba ganoush was not different. I've had Baba Ghanoush for dinner, breakfast and even as a snack with some bread. For Egyptians, it is there as a dip, or as we like to call it salad, to accompany our meals.
I love baba ganoush and have eaten it like a million times already. I can eat it with EVERYTHING. Dip it, spread it, spoon it, lick it.. oh it is very good every time. Here are some suggestions:
- Use it as an dip with carrots, bell pepper and cucumber sticks.
- Scoop it with pita chips and tortillas.
- Spread it on your pita sandwich. Like when you make falafel and ful medames, it is amazing.
- I love serving it with grilled meat, kofta, shish tawooq and chicken kafta.
- Serve it with fish dishes either grilled or in the baked fish.
Baba Ganoush add ons
Baba Ganoush is a very old recipe in the Middle East, and as the case always with authentic recipes they come in many variations. This is a basic recipe which means you can also tweak it a little and add either one or more of the following:
- Small chopped onion.
- Roasted and diced red bell pepper.
- Roasted chilies.
- Chopped parsley.
- Pine nuts.
- Roasted whole garlic on top.
- Some people also like to mix in a tablespoon of yogurt for extra creaminess.
So if you want to wig out one day, make this traditional Mediterranean dip with a totally funky name and enjoy. Baba Ghanoush is a party favorite as it pairs very well with grilled meat, and frankly I find it pairs very well with almost anything. I would slather it to everything I eat even cheese! Yes, seriously I can have a pita pocket slathered with baba ghanoush and stuffed with cheese. CRAZY GOOD 😋.
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This is a basic recipe for the famous Mediterranean baba ganoush dip. Serve as an appetizer with pita and veggies or as a side to your grilled meats. Vegan, Keto, gluten free and low carb.
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- 1 (12 to 16oz) large eggplant.
- 2 medium garlic cloves minced yields (1/2 Tablespoon).
- 1-2 Tablespoons tahini. (Note1)
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil.
- 2 Tablespoon lime/lemon juice. = juice of one lime.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional.
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon Pink Salt. or to taste. You can use any salt you like.
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley optional.
- Cut a slit in the eggplant and roast on the stove top or on your outdoor grill, cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until completely tender and well charred on all sides. Set aside until it cools down. See notes for other cooking options. (Note2)
- When it has cooled enough to handle, scoop the soft flesh with a spoon and set aside in a bowl. Mash with a fork.
- Add all other ingredients, stir vigorously with a fork until eggplant breaks down into chunks and everything is well incorporated.
- Serve with pita bread or vegetables as a dip.