Moutabel is a spicier version of baba ghannouj. Not only is it easy to make, it is even better the next day.
What is Baba ghannouj?
Baba ghannouj is a popular dip made from eggplant and tahini. It has a smooth, creamy texture, and a slightly smoked taste. It is traditionally served with pita bread (toasted or fresh), however many people like it as a chip dip with potato chips or tortilla chips.
The Use of Eggplant in Middle Eastern Food?
Th eggplant is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Also called the aubergine or patlican in some countries, the eggplant is a versatile vegetable. Well, actually, the eggplant is technically a fruit, but like the tomato, it is referred to as a vegetable.
In Middle Eastern cooking, you will find eggplants that are stuffed, fried, in salads, soups, and many other delicious dishes.
Because the eggplant is bitter, after slicing the eggplant, soak the eggplant in heavily salted water. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. This will remove much of the bitter taste.
Eggplant skin and flesh is extremely absorbent to oil and other ingredients. This make is perfect for stuffing or in sauces, soups, and casseroles.
Tips for Buying Eggplant
When at the market shopping for eggplant, choose eggplant that:
- Does not have brown spots on the skin or stem.
- Has a green stem free of mold.
- Has skin that is shiny and smooth without bruises or blemishes.
- Has skin that is resilient and bounces back when you apply gentle pressure.
- Is heavy for size of eggplant.
- 3 eggplants
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon miced garlic
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2-1/4 teaspoon pepper depending on taste
- 1-3 green chile pepper (depending on taste)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplant on lightly greased baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, or until eggplant is tender. Once roasted, remove from oven and allow to cool.
Once eggplants have cooled, peel the skins. They should come off fairly easy. If you are having a tough time, just scoop the eggplant from the skin with a spoon. Set aside.
In a food processor, combine and blend tahini, garlic, and peppers.
Add in eggplant and blend well. Add in olive oil.
Remove from food processor and place in serving bowl. Stir in lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to three days.