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Baba ganoush is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and spices.
Baba ganoush is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from cooked eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and spices. It is very similar to hummus, only it’s made with roasted eggplants instead of chickpeas, and it is often served as part of a Mediterranean mezze or spread of appetizers.
There are a few tricks to making really good baba ganoush, and we’ll get to those in the step-by-step instructions, but it mostly boils down to seasoning. Even in many restaurants, baba ganoush can be very bland. This one is amped up with lots of smoky flavor.
What You’ll Need To Make Baba Ganoush
Eggplant is the main ingredient in baba ganoush, so take care in selecting the right kind. Look for medium-sized eggplants rather than large ones; they have fewer seeds and are therefore less bitter. Eggplants should feel heavy for their size. The stem should be green and the skin should be smooth, shiny, and uniform in color. Fresh is best; the older an eggplant gets, the more bitter it becomes.
The other key ingredient in baba ganoush is tahini, a condiment made from toasted ground sesame seeds. You can find it in most supermarkets near the nut butters. When you open a jar of tahini, you’ll notice that the solids settle in the bottom the jar, similar to natural peanut butter. Be sure to give it a good stir before using. (If your tahini is difficult to stir in the jar, scrape the contents of the jar into a bowl, then use a whisk or hand-held electric mixer to blend.)
How To Make Baba Ganoush
Step 1: Prick and Roast the Eggplants
Using a fork, prick each eggplant all over (spacing the pricks about 1-1/2 inches apart) to prevent them from bursting in the oven. Arrange the eggplant on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until very soft and wrinkled, turning every 15 minutes or so, 45 to 60 minutes. Let the eggplant cool on the baking sheet until cool enough to handle.
Step 2: Scoop and Drain the Flesh
Cut off the stem ends of the eggplant and then slit them open lengthwise, like a baked potato. Using a soup spoon, scoop out the soft flesh and transfer to a fine sieve set in the sink or over a large bowl. Once all of the flesh is in the sieve, pick out any stray bits of skin and discard.
Using the back of a soup spoon, press out as much liquid as possible. As you can see below, there will be a lot!
Step 3: Give it a Whirl
Transfer the strained eggplant flesh to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the lemon juice, garlic, tahini, salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, and oil. (It’s important to mince the garlic first since the dip gets only a few pulses in the food processor.)
Process until the mixture has a coarse, choppy texture, five to ten 1-second pulses. (Alternatively, the mixture can be mashed with a fork.) Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Be sure to taste it with whatever you’re serving it with; you’ll often need more salt or lemon juice because the bread or veggies can mute the flavor.
Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Let the dip sit out at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
To serve, use a spoon to make a swirl through the center of the dip and drizzle olive oil into it; sprinkle with parsley and smoked paprika and serve with toasted pita bread, pita chips, and/or crudités.
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Baba ganoush is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and spices.
- 4 pounds eggplant (about 5 medium Italian)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (see note)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for serving
- Toasted pita bread, pita chips and/or crudités, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 500°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a fork, prick each eggplant all over (spacing the pricks about 1½ inches apart) to prevent them from bursting in the oven. Arrange the eggplant on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until very soft and wrinkled, turning every 15 minutes or so, 45 to 60 minutes. Let the eggplant cool on the baking sheet until cool enough to handle.
- Cut off the stem ends of the eggplants and then slit them open lengthwise, like a baked potato. Using a soup spoon, scoop out the soft flesh and transfer to a fine sieve set in the sink or a large bowl. Once all of the flesh is in the sieve, pick out any stray bits of skin and discard. Using the back of a soup spoon, press out as much liquid as possible (there will be a lot!).
- Transfer the strained eggplant flesh to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the lemon juice, garlic, tahini, salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, and oil; process until the mixture has a coarse, choppy texture, five to ten 1-second pulses. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if necessary. Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Let the dip sit out at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. To serve, use a spoon to make a swirl through the center of the dip and drizzle olive oil into it; sprinkle with parsley and smoked paprika and serve with toasted pita bread, pita chips, and/or crudités.
- Note: It's important to mince the garlic before adding to the food processor because the mixture only gets a few pulses in the machine.
- Make-Ahead Instructions: Baba ganoush can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let it warm to room temperature before serving.
- Serving size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 210
- Fat: 13 g
- Saturated fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 22 g
- Sugar: 11 g
- Fiber: 11 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Sodium: 605 mg
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Gluten-Free Adaptable Note
To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.
I found it had too much lemon, I counteracted it with some baking soda. Next time I will make it with 1/2 the amount of lemon. It was quite good.
Hi Jenn! I’m very excited about this recipe. Would a high speed blender would work just as well as the food processor for blending the ingredients together?
Hi Mo, Yes, if it’s a really powerful blender, it should work. Hope you enjoy!
AMAZING! I will definitely make this recipe again and again. I served it at a birthday party and everyone raved about it.
So good! I wish I had doubled the recipe. I used Chinese eggplant which are smaller, so I didn’t need to squeeze out the water/liquid (baked for 45 minutes).
This was simply declicious! My husband was impressed and said it was better than any he had tasted when he was deployed to the Middle East. Thank you for another superb recipe!
Baba Ghanoush was delicious. Instead of roasting in the oven, I put in the microwave for 30 minutes. It came out fine. My card game loved it with crackers. I decorated the bowl with red pepper for colour.
Thanks. I look forward to more of your great recipes.
I’ve used different recipes over the years for baba ganoush but this is definitely the most flavorful. I followed the recipe exactly and didn’t need to make any adjustments with the seasonings. This is an easy and great recipe that I will continue to use. Thank you for posting it.
In summer heat, I roasted the eggplant on the grill outside the night before. We loved it! A delicious addition to a mid-eastern luncheon. I will definitely do this again.
This is one of my favorite dishes. I’m wondering if I can make a large batch and freeze some?
Hi Barbara, I’ve never frozen baba ganoush but looked online and it appears that it can be frozen (see some guidance here). From what I read, it may separate a little when defrosted; just give it a quick stir to re-combine. You may also want to add a bit more lemon juice when defrosted just to brighten it up a little. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!
Can’t wait to try this baba ganoush recipe! Are you familiar with this tip to help with eggplant selection? I’ve heard that while eggplants don’t actually have a gender, so called “male” eggplants–those with a shallow, round indentation at the bottom—tend to have fewer seeds, and are therefore less bitter. If the indentation is shaped like a dash, it’s a “female.” I’ve found it to be helpful myself. 🙂
When I’m shopping for tahini should I look for a product made from roasted sesame or does it matter? I saw both the last time I needed some.
I don’t think it matters Susan — any tahini will do. Hope you enjoy the baba ganoush!
Looks delish – perfect for dunking bits and bobs when you have friends ovr. If you have the barbecue (grill) going, it is really good to actually grill the eggplats until the skins are blackened – you don’t eat the blackened skin, but it adds much more of a traditional smoky flavour. (I’ve tried doing it directly on my gas hob – it worked, but made a horrible mess of my stove!)