Baba Ghanoush (version XVI)

Baba Gannouj,Baba Ganoush,Baba Ghanouj,Baba Ganouj,Baba Ghanooge

1 large eggplant
1 clove garlic grated
2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and grated
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
pinch paprika
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds*, optional

Heat the broiler. Place the whole eggplant underneath, about 2 inches from the heat source. When the top has buckled, turn twice more to cook all sides, between 5 and 7 minutes for each side. Remove with a long-tined fork. Let it cool thoroughly on a plate. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, ¼ cup cilantro, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, tahini, and yogurt, if using, in a glass or earthenware bowl. Peel the eggplant and scrape away as many of the seeds a possible. Coarsely chop the flesh and add it to the tahini mixture. Blend well. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon cilantro.

Variation: For a more substantial sandwich filling or spread, add 1 cup cooked white beans or chickpeas along with the eggplant. Puree the mixture to make it perfectly smooth.

* To toast sesame seeds: Spread the seeds in a single layer on a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake in a toaster oven or conventional oven at 350F. until the seeds turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning.

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