Monday, 24 June 2013

Babaganoush - Charred Aubergine Pate

Most people, when we tell them what Babaganoush is, decide they aren't going to like it.  I guess many people aren't sure about aubergines as in themselves they can be a little bland.  But once tried, Babaganoush, is one aubergine dish that seems to be able to change people's minds.  And it is incredibly moreish.

Babaganoush is a charred aubergine pate or dip.  I came across Babaganoush in Egypt, first in beachfront shacks in the then undeveloped Sharm el Sheik, and then in my Scottish boyfriend's flat in Alexandria where we learnt to char the aubergines stabbed onto forks over the uncontrollable gas burners.  And it is the charring that is the key to this pate's flavour.  That and the tahini paste.

1 large aubergine
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp tahini paste
Juice of 1 lemon
1-3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
Pepper & salt to taste

Slice the aubergine down the middle lengthways and place flesh side down under a medium hot grill on a baking sheet until the skin blackens and blisters.  Remove from the grill and leave to cool for a few minutes. Alternatively place whole on a barbecue to soften and blacken all over.

Place the rest of the ingredients into a mini food processor then scrape in the inside flesh of the aubergine.  Don't worry if some of the charred skin comes with the flesh - this adds to the flavour.  Blitz together until smooth.  You may need to add some olive oil to achieve this.  Season to taste.

Babaganoush is great on hot toast or warmed pitta bread.

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