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Perfect Baba Ghanouj in 6 Steps

There’s no way this hummus blog could go on with no baba ganouj recipe in it, right?

Baba ghanouj (or “baba ghanoush”) is the Arab name for roasted eggplants with tahini, a dish which is found all over the middle-east and in some Mediterranean countries. It’s very easy to make, but the taste can go all the way from horrible to divine – depending mainly on the quality of the ingredients and the proper roasting of the eggplants.

Well, you know what they say – practice makes perfect. So start practicing this recipe.

1 mid-size eggplant
1/3 cup of the best tahini you can find
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1-2 garlic cloves
1-2tbs finely chopped parsley
salt, pepper


1. Roast the eggplant over a kitchen cooker. Be thorough. If you never done this before, use our Quick Guide.

Roast eggplant over a kitchen cooker.

2. Put aside for 15-20 minutes. Let the eggplant chill up a little, over a plate or a strainer. The eggplant liquids should be fully drained before it is ready to use.

Put aside for 15-20 minutes.

3. Strip and clean the eggplant. Peel off the shell and and put over a cutting board.

Strip and clean the eggplant.

4. Chop the eggplant. Do NOT use a food processor. Chop the eggplant by hand, using a good knife. Use large, swift, hammer-like moves. With this traditional technique,the eggplants’ texture will be preserved.

Chop the eggplant.

5. Add all other ingredients. Yeah, you’re right, I took this shot only because it looks beautiful.

Add all other ingredients.

6. Mix Gently, taste. Is something missing? More lemon juice? A little salt maybe? You should take your time. Also, after some time the flavors will change a bit, so if you don’t eat it right away you should taste it again.

Mix, taste and fix.

26 Comments on Perfect Baba Ghanouj in 6 Steps

  1. OKAY, if you insist.

    I sure hope that Baba ganouj tastes better than it looks.

    I like eggplant. Most PROFESSIONAL CHEFS like myself, who know how to properly prepare it, usually like it. But, it has to look good as well.

    If I served that to my boyfriend “Big Bear” he would probably throw me out of the trailer house, even though I just bought him a $85.00 bottle of 50-year old balsamic vinegar. He likes it on his baba ganouch and on his gnocchi (he has lost most of his teeth, so he has to have soft food to eat . . . that’s what happens when you use meth). He even puts balsamic vinegar in his beer!

    Please work on the presentation.

  2. If you want to transliterate بابا غنوش properly, it should be “Baba Ghanush”.
    Gh = Ghayin which sounds like the R in French. Sh like in shall.

  3. I must apologize for chiff0nade. She posts all over the internet that I am her boyfriend and even posted my photo (without my permission) on her MySpace website.

    I feel sorry for her because of her past history of four divorces, two suicide attempts, and other personal problems.

    But I am really tired of being embarrassed by her continuous postings. And now she has resorted to posting under numerous other names, such as “MrsDocChuck”, “realchiffonade”, and others.

    Please be aware that I (David) do NOT engage in domestic violence. And “chiff0nade” is NOT a professional chef. In fact, since her last arrest she has not been able to get a job here in Florida.

  4. What’s the difference between baba ghanoush and mutabbal? Here in Amman we have both, but I’m confused as to what the difference is. Good stuff, though, whichever one I get. I made a huge mess on the stove roasting the eggplant last time, but it was pretty good.

  5. Also, do you have a recipe for tarator? Seems pretty straightforward, tahini, parsley, lemon, garlic, salt, right? I’ve only had it once, on fish, and I LOVED it. I’m a semi-vegetarian and would like to try it on vegetables.

  6. I know tarator as a cold cucumber soup, A Bulgarian friend gave me this recipe:

    1 large cucumber, finely chopped
    a handful chopped fresh dill
    1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
    several crushed walnuts (it’s better to smash them with a hammer than chop them because the oils, and therefore the full flavor, are released through crushing)
    1 large clove garlic, crushed then chopped finely
    about 2 cups plain yogurt
    salt to taste
    lemon juice to taste

    mix the ingredients in this order in a large bowl, add a little cruched ice to chill. when the ice has melted, mix and serve.

    you can make tarator thicker (more like tzatziki) as a side dish, or with more water as a refreshing summer soup.

  7. about the Tarator :
    You have to mix the yogurt with a glass of cold water,to become like a soup and usually we don’t put any lemon or vinegar in this cold soup.When you smash the garlic must be with little salt.And if you don’t like wallnuts it’s not neccesery to put them inside.Also we don’t put ice to make it cold,we just put it in the frige where it stays about 1h.It’s also nice if u put black pepper.

  8. Erm, I know it’s sacrilege to admit that you have an electric, rather than gas, cooker. But, as a result of circumstances beyond my control right now, I do. How would you do the eggplant then? Under the grill? Help, I have an eggplant staring at me from the veggie drawer as we speak…

  9. Lisa – grill is OK. Not as good as a gas cooker but It’ll do the work. Only remember the eggplant should become completely soft inside and burned outside.

  10. rebeccaloveshummus // June 7, 2008 at 10:34 pm // Reply

    i thought the photos were great (and i have a degree in photography! oohhh!) very well framed and lit, and that the baba ganouj looked yummy. chiff-whatever girl is coo-coo, coco puffs-style.

  11. I was just heating up the grill to roast some eggplant prior to making baba ghanouj…I love the smoky flavor and add 2-4 cloves of garlic. I learned to make it that way from a middle eastern restaurant that I liked…though the owner admitted that if they run out of pre-grilled eggplant – they put a couple drops of liquid smoke in it.

    As far as the recipe given it is nice to see that it made with the traditional chopping method instead of the processor pureed stuff. Much better texture!

    Also if you are having guests and wish to garnish…It looks nice with a spiral of olive oil, a sprinkle of sweet paprika or finely chopped parsley and thinly sliced lemon and/or cucumber around the edges. Thin tomato wedges are also some times used depending what colors you want to “play up”…I have used all of these at different times. Grill is hot! See you all…

  12. I made it in a food processor… is that bad? It was fluffy and tasty but next time I will try it your way. I bet a Middle Eastern person would think my version was gross, hehe.

  13. David P. Brown // April 26, 2009 at 11:53 pm // Reply

    Absoutely the best recipie that I’ve ever used. I grill it on my propane grill but also works well on a charcoal grill. My wife absolutely LOVES it!!

    She actually likes the charred skin chopped up in there too, she loves the smoky flavor.

  14. BRAVO
    This is exactly the way my libanese grandmother used to do it apart from the parsly that was served apart.
    NO oven at 400 degrees for one hour !!!!!!
    Why do all those american emigrants think their recepies are original ??
    It’s because they are emigrants !!

  15. umm, being immigrants, they would have had to have come from the original country with their original recipes.

  16. ouch, nice tia :p

    how many Japanese eggplants are needed? 12 medium should do yes?

  17. great recipe. but what’s up with the anti-immigrant comments? i would delete that if i were the administrator of this blog….

  18. Kerry Maxwell // November 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm // Reply

    I know this is an old post, but the pic for step #5 (Add all other ingredients) looks like there is chopped garlic and maybe some oil added, but these are not in the ingredients list. Is this just an illusion?

  19. i am so curious to know what exactly is the difference between mutabel and baba ghanouj…? is there anyone who can tell that.

  20. I made your baba recipe tonight along with the hummus where I complained about the shells.:) They both seem pretty good. We eat a lot of these so I’m comfortable adjusting the seasonings. The hummus seems to be missing something this time and I just can’t put my finger on it. I think when I serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and some zaatar all will be well. My partner thinks baba like this is too chunky at first, but my partner will learn.;) Your ideas are much appreciated, espcially the hummus recipe with lots of rinsing, and I used the bay leaf idea too. Peace out.

  21. LaTricia M. // August 14, 2012 at 5:13 am // Reply

    So, I’m not all too familiar with this dish and wanted to try it. Am aiming to start with a good recipe before forming an opinion based on a bad one.

    Does searing the eggplant change the actual flavor of it or just the texture?

    What do you eat it with or on?

    • Dear LaTricia M.,

      Pardon my delayed response.

      Your first question is almost a philosophical one – can you separate flavor from texture? If so, than my answer would be “both”.

      You can eat Baba Ghanouj with any kind of bread, cracker and preferably – a good pita bread.

      And one last thing: IMHO, you should try tasting the dish made by someone more experienced in making it, before you form your final opinion.

      Best, Shooky

  22. Hi. I love baba ganoush but am allergic to sesame (Tahini) can I use something else in it’s place? Thank you

    • teresa – there’s no simple substitute to tahini, but roasted eggplants also go wonderfully with yogurt. You can also mix it with a paste of roasted red peppers (sweeet ones) and or vinegar / lemon, olive oil and garlic. Mixing eggplants with fried onion is a known vegan substitute to liver pate.

  23. “I’m a professional chef who lives in a trailer with a meth addict. Please make your presentation nicer”? What a strange comment to this blog. First time on your blog, I know it’s an old post, but I think your pictures are fine. I’m not a professional chef living in a trailer with a meth addict. I just like food and I think your baba G looks fantastic. ;~)

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