Syria, United Arab Emirates – Mutabbal/ Baba ghanoush


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by Adelina Aida

Mutabal is also known as Baba Ganoush. This is like a dip made up of eggplants. This is a thick paste of eggplant and other vegetables, spices, olive oil is also be added into it. The eggplant is burned over the fire to get a smoky flavor and also for the removal of brinjal’s skin. Some people don’t like to have burn flavor or smoky flavor, so to cook eggplant, it is baked, boiled, or broiled. All we need to require is the pulp of eggplant without skin. This is either a dip served with tacos, pita bread, and crackers, papadum, etc. Or it is served also as an Appetizer. This dish resembles Tahini sauce. But tahini is made of sesame seeds but this is made by brinjal pulp.

There are many alternative names:

  • Mutabbal
  • Baba ghanoush
  • baba ghanouj
  • ganoush 
  • salat ḥatzilim

ETYMOLOGY OF MUTABAL

BABA GANOUSH

This word is the Term of endearment. There are basic words used to label the object for which the speaker feels affection. In the Arabic language, the word ”BABA” means ”FATHER”. The other word is ”ġannūj” is the personal full name.

This combination of names has come across the meaning of “indulged or flirtatious daddy” or “spoiled old daddy”. But obviously, this is not the meaning of the dish like spoiled daddy. But this is said that the BABA in this name of the dish means EGGPLANT/ BRINJAL/ AUBERGINES. And Ganoush is the personal name related to the invention of this dish, or the person who invented it.

MUTABAL

Mutabal is another name for this dish in Levantine, Syria, etc. This means ”SPICED”. This is also called the spicier version of Baba Ganoush. Different kind of spices is added to the paste of eggplant with some other vegetables. The specialty is the use of Pomegranate seeds.

MUTABAL INCLUDED IN OTHER CUISINES

  • Turkish cuisine
  • Levantine
  • Palestinian cuisine
  • Israeli Cuisine
  • Kuwaiti cuisine
  • Middle Eastern cuisine
  • Khaleeji cuisine
  • Armenian cuisine
  • Lebanon cuisine
  • Arabic cuisine

HISTORY

The culinary tradition of Israeli cuisine is from the GREATER SYRIA. After the beginning of the 21st century, the MEZE is added to Syrian cuisine. The main influences of the Appetizer or Meze are from the Arab World or the United Arab Emirates. But some recipes are from the 13th Century of Syrian history

In a Syrian meal, this is served with coffee. This is served also with the CONFECTIONERY SWEET, desserts, etc.

FOOD OF SYRIAN CUISINE

  • Meze
  • Sarma
  • Kebab
  • Kubbeh
  • Mehshi
  • Street food
  • Desserts

MEZZE

Meze is a small appetizer or a side dish. This is served as the snack, appetizer, dip, side dish, etc. This is very common in the Balkans, Asia, and Africa. Sometimes, it can be a multicourse meal or a part of a multicourse meal. This is also a meal to served with alcohol but in Islamic countries, it is not common. This can be a meal of talking and gossiping.

This is the dish of different names :

  • Meze
  • Mezze
  • Maza

This small dish is common in :

  • Greece
  • Balkans
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Turkey
  • Petra
  • Jordan
  • Persia
  • Levantine
  • Syria
  • Israel

ORIGINATION

This is the origin of the Ottoman Empire. In the Turkish language, this word means a ”snack or appetizer

This is also the word “maza”, which means to taste or relish in the Persian language.

IN BALKANS

  • Ajvar (Sweet bellpeppers and eggplant)
  • Cured bacon
  • Salami
  • Ham
  • Kulen (Paprika sausages)
  • Salads

IN ROMANIA

  • Zacusca
  • Cheese
  • Salami

MIDDLE EAST

  • Tahini
  • Olives
  • Yogurt
  • Salads
  • Meat stew
  • Grill meat
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables

COMPONENTS OF THE DISH

AUBERGINES

There are some different names for the same vegetable, Eggplant, Aubergines, Brinjal, etc. It is also be categorized into fruits family. Somehow aubergines have characteristics of fruits and vegetables. This is used in making different dishes throughout the world. There are different curries, gravies, dips, sauces, bread is made.

The names of these vegetables are different :

EGGPLANT

In North America English, this vegetable is known as eggplant. The first recorded eggplant was of white color in 1763, so that was a look-alike hen’s egg so they called it eggplant. The other name ”Vegetable egg” was also used by some people to call this vegetable.

BRINJAL

Brinjal or brinjaul is the word used for this vegetable in SOUTH ASIA and SOUTH AFRICA.

This is the vegetable used as the main element of the dish. This is boiled, porched, grilled, etc. This is sometimes, burn to get the smoky flavors and have the pulp of this.

TAHINI

Tahini is a sauce made of sesame seeds and olive oil with some seasonings. This is itself a dip but when this paste is added with smoked brinjal. In this dish, hulled sesame seeds are used and turned into a paste by adding olive oil and required seasoning. This is added into many dishes :

  • Hummus
  • Baba Ganoush
  • Mutabbal
  • Halva

Tahini is the Arabic word that means, ”paste, flour, To grind”. This is mostly soaked a night before grinding into a paste. Seeds are hulled and soaked before the grinding procedure. Few ingredients are :

  • Sesame seeds
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic cloves

This is very rich in calories :

  • In 100-gram of Tahini sauce has 600 calories
  • 53% fats
  • 26% Carbohydrates
  • 19% Protien

SEASONINGS

  • Paprika powder
  • Peppercones
  • mignonette pepper
  • Tarragon
  • Cayenne
  • Basil
  • Caraway

OTHER INGREDIENTS

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Parsely
  • Pomegranate seeds

TOPPINGS

  • Poppy seeds
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Za’atar
  • Paprika powder
  • Pomegaranate seeds
  • Sumac powder
  • Caraway

SIDE SERVINGS

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Emirati Khameer
  • Chebab
  • Kuboos
  • Ragag
  • Cucumber salad

DRINK SERVINGS

  • Gahwa 
  • Arabic Tea
  • Sulaimani 
  • Jallab
  • Laban 

INGREDIENTS OF MUTABAL

  • Eggplant : 6
  • Lemon juice : 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil : 1/2 cup
  • Garlic cloves : 4
  • Smoked paprika : 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder : 1 tsp
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Parsely : 1/2 cup
  • Sumac powder : 2 tbsp
  • Boiled eggs : 2
  • Pita bread : 2 loaves
  • Pomegranate seeds : 1/4 cup

ROASTING OF EGG PLANT

  • Roasting of eggplant is the main step of making mutabal.
  • First of all take the eggplants and wash them properly, let them dry out after washing to move further for next step.
  • Now turn on the stove and place the eggplant over the stove.
  • Make sure to make some whole in the eggplant before roasting to make it moist and soft from inside as well.
  • Turn the flame low to prevent burning of the skin without softening of the inner pulp.
  • It takes around 10 to 13 minutes to soften the brinjal.
  • Make it cook from the both side turn by turn.
  • When the pulp of brinjal is soft enough let it dip into the water for 10 minutes.
  • After dipping into the water, the burned skin is automatically peeled of the inner pulp.
  • Remove the skin and smoky, soft cooked pulp is ready for the next step.

MIXING OF ALL INGREDIENTS

  • Now we have all the ingredients ready for assembling.
  • Take the smoked brinjal pulp, tahini sauce, olive oil, spices, parsely, lemon juice in a mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients together.
  • Mix it well to make a thick paste of it.
  • This is ready to serve with the side elements and garnishing.
  • Take a serving bowl and add mutabal in it, sprinkle some oilve oil, paprika powder, parsely and pomegranate seeds for garnishing.
  • Serve it with pita bread and Arabic tea.

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