This smoked aubergine (eggplant) purée with garlic, tahini and mint is a very popular Middle Eastern appetizer, dipping sauce, spread on toast or a side dish with grilled meat, especially with lamb.
The main ingredient is aubergine, a plant in the Nightshade Family. Most commonly is purple, but you can find yellow and white one in the market too. It’s a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, fiber, folic acid, potassium. Its high fiber content helps with digestion.
Veggies or fruits from the nightshade family (tomatoes, white potatoes, aubergine and peppers) are not recommended for people who have autoimmune disease because they contain antinutrients which reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. Two antinutrients, lectin and tomatine increase intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome), by sticking to your intestinal wall and causing low-level inflammation. However, lectin sensitivity varies per person and you will know if you’re sensitive to it if you experience brain fog, inflammation, migraines or stomach issues after eating a lectin heavy meal.
The other important ingredient is tahini. It is made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds, popular in many cuisines especially in the Mediterranean and Middle East.
I like to sprinkle a little bit of sumac on top of my baba ghanoush. Sumac is this tangy spice with sour taste of lemon juice and it’s made from the dried and ground berries of the wild sumac flower. It’s not absolutely necessary for this recipe but it’s a great addition if you have it on hand.
- 2 large aubergine
- 4 cloves garlic
- 70 gram tahini paste
- 25 ml olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- mint chopped
- pine nuts roasted
- parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Prick the aubergines with fork in a few places and place them on a baking tray.
- Put them into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until collapsed, soft and the skin is slightly charred.
- Leave the baked aubergines to cool for 10-15 minutes, it makes it easier to discard the skin.
- Discard the skin, cut in half and place in a colander over a bowl, add ½ tsp salt, stir well and wait for 10 minutes until any excess liquid drains away.
- Put the aubergine flesh, mashed garlic, ½ tsp salt into the food processor and pulse it for 10-15 seconds or use immersion blender. It does not have to be very creamy.
- Put the mix into a bowl, add tahini and olive oil (smoky taste oil if you have).
- Stir it until thick.
- Sprinkle on the mint, roasted pine nuts, sumac if you have them at home but finely cut parsley is suitable too.