Breakfast and Brunch, Dips and Sauces, Middle Eastern Recipes, Sides and Appetizers

Baba Ghanoush

A large plate of Baba Ghanoush, topped with olive oil in the middle, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and parsley. Pita bread around it.

Baba Ghanoush, commonly referred to as Mutabbal, is a delectable appetizer across the Middle East. It’s tangy, garlicky, and plain delicious. Served as part of a mezze or with roasted pita chips for brunch or a snack.

Baba Ghanoush is the ultimate Mediterranean side dish that combines eggplants, tahini, garlic, yogurt and some lemon. That’s it! That’s all you need. It’s so easy to prepare, creamy, healthy, and (spoiler alert!) addictive!


A side close-up of a Baba Ghanoush plate topped with olive oil, chopped parsley, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds on top.
Easy, healthy side dish.


What to Pair with Baba Ghanoush

The beauty of Baba Ghanoush is that it pairs with almost everything. You can just spread it on some Pita bread and enjoy. It’s also the perfect match for raw or grilled veggies like carrots, peppers, and cucumbers.

Now, if you want to prepare the traditional Mediterranean Mezze, you can serve this recipe along with a delicious plate of Hummus Bil Lahme, next to a bowl of Tabbouli Salad Recipe (Tabbouleh), and you definitely have to try my Tender Grilled Steak Kebabs recipe with your Mutabbal. Another perfect match for this side dish is the epic Lebanese Fried Kibbeh Recipe.


A large plate of Baba Ghanoush topped with pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, parsley, and olive oil. Serve it with triangles of Pita bread around it.
The crowd-pleaser Baba Ghanoush.

How to Choose the Best Eggplants

The best eggplants for this recipe are dark purple, large or medium-sized eggplants because they produce the best flavor.

Don’t choose ripe eggplants, it will give your recipe a bitter touch.

Your eggplant has to be shiny, that’s how you know that it’s fresh.

If the eggplant is too soft that you can squeeze it, that’s not the one that you want. It has to be firm, but not hard.

Definitely, go for the heavy ones, because they will be juicy and not dry.

The skin of your eggplant has to be smooth, just to ensure it isn’t rotten on the inside.


Olive oil, chopped parsley, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds are sprinkled on the top of the Baba Ghanoush plate.
An explosion of flavors and colors.

Why Baba Ghanoush?

Well, here is a fun fact, in Arabic Baba means father, and Ghanoush means spoiled 😋. The name says it all. This side dish came all the way from the Middle East to conquer your taste buds with an explosion of flavors and textures.

Besides, Mutabbal is a healthy recipe, its ingredients are not just delicious but also adaptable to many types of diets.

It’s an affordable side dish, perfect if you’re on a budget.

Even though your eggplants have to stay in the oven for around an hour, assembling this recipe takes no more than 10 minutes.

There is no need to use a food processor. That’s how simple it is to prepare!


Pro Tips

You can substitute tahini for yogurt to make this recipe vegan-friendly.

If you’re not a fan of garlic, you can do less. I personally like it garlicky.

The lemon juice is also to taste, you can play according to your preferences.

You can bake your eggplants ahead of time.

Add some smoked paprika on top as an optional ingredient, and take this dip to another level of deliciousness.

After removing the eggplants from the oven, let them cool before you peel their skin.

You can mash the eggplants with a potato masher or a fork.


Creamy Mutabbal Batenjan with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, parsley, and olive oil on top.
Decorate your table with this delectable Mutabbal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a food processor instead of a fork to mash the eggplants?

You can, but keep in mind that anything that goes into the food processor might come out mushy and watery.

What’s the difference between Baba Ghanoush and Hummus?

Baba Ghanoush’s main ingredient is eggplants, while hummus is made with chickpeas.

Can I grill my eggplants, instead of using the oven?

Yes, you definitely can grill the eggplants.

For how long can I store the leftovers of my Mutabbal?

You can store your Mutabbal leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 to 6 days.

How long does the Baba Ghanoush last in the freezer?

You have to freeze it in an airtight container, and it will last for up to three months. However, it might release extra liquids when defrosted.


Serve your plate of Mutabbal topped with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, chopped parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil alongside pita bread triangles.
Why buy it when you can prepare it?

Ingredients

Eggplants: the main ingredient

Garlic: for extra flavor

Yogurt: for a creamy, and yummy touch

Tahini: the irresistible sesame seed flavor

Lemon Juice: for a citrusy twist

Salt: to taste

Pine nuts or almonds: for added texture

Olive oil: for brushing the eggplants


Easy Prep

First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Secondly, cut each eggplant in half lengthwise and place them onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Right after that, drizzle each eggplant slice with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the flesh side, then flip it to have the flesh face down on the sheet.

Then, place the peeled garlic cloves into a small pocket of foil, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.

After that, close the aluminum foil pocket and place it into the same tray.

Now, cover and place into the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove it and let it cool.

Then, peel the skin and scoop the insides into a bowl, adding the yogurt, tahini, salt, and lemon juice.

After that, mash well, either using a potato masher or a fork.

Now it’s time to fry your desired amount of pine nuts or almonds in olive oil for extra flavor.

Finally, spoon over ready Mutabal, making sure to spoon some olive oil as well.


A tray with pita bread triangles and a plate of Baba Ghanoush drizzled with olive oil and topped with pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.
The traditional Baba Ghanoush.

Must-Try Recipes:

Honeycomb Bread (Khaliat Al Nahl)

Ful Medames Recipe (Stewed Fava Beans)

Zaatar Rolls

Spinach Fatayer

Tender Zaatar Cheese Buns

Hummus Bil Lahme

Garlic Sauce – Middle Eastern Toum

Bazlama (Turkish Flatbread)

Palestinian Tatbeeleh (Shatta) (Spicy Salsa)

Palestinian Cauliflower Fritters (Emshat)



A tray with a plate of Mutabbal drizzled with olive oil, pomegranate seeds, and pine nuts.

Baba Ghanoush

Fatimah
The authentic Middle Eastern Baba Ghanoush is prepared with a few simple ingredients. Flavorful, delicious, and a perfect side dish for almost anything. Give it a try today!
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, brunch, Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large eggplants about 2 pounds
  • 8 large garlic cloves you can do less
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice or ¼ cup (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Toasted pine nuts or almonds
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil for brushing

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise and place them onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle each eggplant slice with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the flesh side, then flip it to have the flesh face down on the sheet.
  • Place the peeled garlic cloves into a small pocket of foil, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.
  • Close the aluminum foil pocket and place it into the same tray.
  • Cover and place into the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove it and let it cool.
  • Peel the skin and scoop the insides into a bowl, adding the yogurt, tahini, salt, roasted garlic and lemon juice.
  • Mash well, either using a potato masher or a fork.
  • Fry your desired amount of pine nuts or almonds in olive oil for extra flavor.
  • Spoon over ready Mutabal, making sure to spoon some olive oil as well.

Notes

  • You can substitute tahini for the yogurt to make this recipe vegan-friendly.
  • If you’re not a fan of garlic, you can do less. I like mine garlicky. 
  • The lemon juice is also to taste, you can play according to your preferences.
  • You can bake your eggplants ahead of time.
  • Add some smoked paprika on top as an optional ingredient, and take this dip to another level of deliciousness.
  • After removing the eggplants from the oven, let them cool before you peel their skin.
  • You can mash the eggplants with a potato masher or a fork.
Keyword Baba Ghanoush, Mutabbal, Mutabbal Batenjan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5 thoughts on “Baba Ghanoush

  1. Candice says:

    5 stars
    Was surprised how delicious this was and how easy it is to make!!! Honestly just as good as the best restaurants that make it and even better than most… Only thing I would like better is to try the grilling version next time to get more of that Smokey flavor to it !

  2. Candice says:

    5 stars
    Could not believe how delicious this was and how easy it is to make!!! Honestly just as good as the best restaurants that make it and even better than most… Only thing I would like better is to try the grilling version next time to get more of that Smokey flavor to it !

  3. Ash says:

    Is the red garnish on top sumac or paprika?
    And is it green leafy garnish parsley or cilantro?

    1. Fatimah says:

      sumac and parsley

  4. Saima says:

    5 stars
    Tried this and it was so yummmy. Thank you for all these easy recipes. May Allah bless you! Ameen

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