The United Arab Emirates – Baba Ghanoush


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by Adelina Aida

Baba Ghanoush is actually a starter/ appetizer dish that is also served as snacks and a side course. This is originated from Levantine cuisine from Lebanese. This is usually a vegetarian appetizer. The main ingredient of this dish is Eggplant with some amazing seasonings like paprika, pepper, and other elements like olive oil, lemon, salt, and many more to enhance the taste of the dish and make it royal-looking.

Baba Ghanoush is Served as

This is a dish which can be served according to the event like dinner or tea time snack as given below :

MEZZE

Meze, mezze, or Maza is a regional cuisine of small dishes like starter or appetizer. In Turkey, Greece, or the middle in the region of Muslims where Alcohol is not allowed they serve this cuisine known as ‘‘Mezze” In this part of the meal, small dishes, starters and Appetizers are served.. On that particular plate, Baba ghanoush is the main dish of the following plate. It is like a multi dishes platter having special snacks and served in the Traditional way to complement the Event.

Main dishes of Mezze :

  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Smoked fish
  • Midye tava ( stuffed squid )
  • Midye dolma ( stuffed mussels )
  • Octopus salad
  • Olives
  • Boiled eggs
  • Brain Salad
  • Cucumber pickle
  • Cold Liver dish etc

SNACK

This is a dish that can be served at the time of tea as a snack. In the middle east, this dish is very used at lunchtime, dinner, and even at snack time. In Saudia Arabia and Dubai, Arabic coffee is very popular and used usually in the evening time. At that time, Baba ghanosuh is served with tacos or pita bread.

DIP

This is served with tacos, pita bread, crisps, vegetables, grilled meat etc.

APPETIZER

This dish is served before a main course meal as a starter and appetizer.

MUTABBAL

Mutabbal means ” spiced up ”. It is a spicy version of Baba ghanoush in which many spices are added. In which cayenne, red pepper crushed chilies, pomegranate seeds are added.

There are many varieties of the same dish according to the regional distribution :

  • Persia Gulf : This is the region where baba ghanoush is served but with different toppings. The toppings are coriander or parsley.
  • Armenia : This is the spicy version of baba ghanoush which is known as Mutabbal. In this dish, lemon, garlic, salt, cumin, turmeric, and red pepper are added.
  • Israel : Salat hatzilmi, is a grilled or fried eggplant that is served by adding different mayonnaise and fried onions with some spices.
  • Ethiopia : This dish is known as ”blagadoush”. In which different regional spices are added..

ETYMOLOGY

Baba measn ”Father” and ”ghanoush” means smoked eggplant. So it a dish which is very popular dish make up from eggplant.

COOKING TECHNIQUE OF BABA GHANOUSH

In making baba ghanoush, the main technique used is Smoking or roasting. To get perfect smoke taste of eggplant by buring it over the direct flame or roasting make it more tasty and palatable.

To get perfect roasting flavors we have to grill or roast it, There are few methods of roasting eggplant and one of them is direct heating on the stove. So we burnt eggplant on direct fire which burnt the skin of the plant and cooked it by heat from inside. By burning the skin, inside vegetables get an amazing burnt smoky flavor which is actually the main element to add on to this dish.

Served with

This is dip kind of snack that can be served with :

  • Crisps
  • Pita bread
  • Tacos
  • Chips
  • Raw vegetables
  • Crispy vegetables
  • Meat nuggets
  • Some Kababs etc

INGREDIENTS OF MAKING BABA GHANOUSH

  • Medium sized Eggplant = 3
  • Olive oil = 1/2 cup
  • Tahini sauce = 1/2 cup
  • Salt = 1/4 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds = 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice = 4 tablespoons
  • Garlic chopped = 6 cloves
  • Parsely = 4 tablespoons
  • Pomegranate seeds = 1/2 cup
  • Cumin powder = 2 tablespoons
  • Paprika powder = 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne = 1/2 teaspoon

COOKING METHOD OF BABA GHANOUSH

  • First step of cooking baba ghanoush is roasting eggplant. So we have to follow one of the roasting method to get a perfect smoky flavor of eggplant.
  • By direct heating on stove takes 10 minutes to burnt from both sides.
  • We can burn the eggplant on medium flame 5 minutes each.
  • We can also use oven to make it burn and get a good smoky flavor.
  • Now we have burnt eggplant which is going to be peeled off.
  • Let eggplant to cool down first and than peel the skin off properly otherwise it will make our baba ghanoush bitter and that can ruin the taste of our dip.
  • Now we have a peel off eggplant which is already cook. We have to mash it properly into a paste and lets add out ingredients into it.
  • Add olive oil, tahini sauce, our spices and mixed it well.
  • Make sure to get a smooth paste like texture.
  • Add green coriander, parsely and pomegranate seeds on the top and also some olive oil to make it beautiful looking dish.
  • Serve it with your crisps, pita bread etc.

SERVING IDEAS

  1. Grill some pita bread and cut into wedges, they go well with baba ghanoush.
  2. Some grilled carrot sticks.
  3. Frired Potato wedges
  4. Bell peppers
  5. Cucumber sticks etc
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