Friday, 31 December 2010

Baba Ghannouj without Tahini, just my fave version! And it has character!

This is by far my favorite Lebanese-Syrian salad/mezze. It’s so healthy and tasty, especially with fresh warm pita bread. Actually, this is the 2nd recipe after zaalouk (Moroccan eggplant salad) where I am keen to consume aubergines (or eggplants for some).

Back in Dubai, there where several restaurants are offering good Baba Ghannouj. Lucky you people! I miss those days!
Here in Doha, I would drive all the way to a Restaurant in Villagio Mall called Sarai where they serve THE Best in Town (according to me) for:
1-      hot pita bread with nigella seeds,
2-      Baba Ghannouj
3-      Fresh Raspberry Juice.
Not to mention the service! Not desappointing at all.

Baba Ghannouj is an easy vegetarian recipe to come up with, which is why it needs fresh ingredients, a good extr virgin olive oil and a barbecue or gaz flame (or in the oven, just use greased aluminium foil to pick up the aubergines easely and without damage).

Ingredients
 For 2 to 4 persons

-      3 medium aubergines
-     ¼ cup of finely chopped green and red pepper (capsicum)
-     ¼ of finelly chopped, deseided and drained tomatoes
-     ¼ of finelly chopped fresh parsley
-     1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
-     ¼ cup of finelly chopped spanish onion
-     1 tbsp of chopped mint leaves
-     1 or 2 tbsp of extra vergin olive oil
-     2 tbsp of lemon juice
 
Garnishing
-          - 2 tbsp if extra vergin olive oil
-          - 1 tbsp of pomogranate molasses
-          - 2 tbsp of chopped walnut

Method

Prick each eggplant several times with a toothpick so it does not burst while cooking.

Place the aubergines directly on the flame of a gas burner or a barbecue grill and turn every few minutes, so it is charred evenly and at the same time inside softens.

Pick them up and put them straight into a plastic container or a Ziploc bag for 5 to 10 min.

Remove the charred skin of each aubergine and place it on a chopping board. You may rinse your hands with water to help you removing the skins but try not to clean the aubergine directly.

Chop the flesh with a good knife (No food processor please, we are NOT looking for a puree in this recipe). 

Place the eggplant in a strainer for 20 min so in drains out all excess of liquid so you don’t get a soaggy dip later.

Add in the green and red pepper (capsicums), the onion, the crushed garlic, the parsley, the tomatoes. 

Add lemon juice, the olive oil and the pomogranate molasses. Stir it with a spoon or a fork.

Garnish with pomogranate arils and molasses, olive oil, finely chopped walnut and serve cold with pita bread or crackers..



NB: The seasoning as well as the veggies is totally customizable according to your taste! More or less garlic, more or less molasses… However, the lemon, the smoky flavour, the pomegranate molasses give it an undeniable character!

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