Super Simple Turkish Baba Ganoush Recipe
In Turkey, every meal is typically accompanied by various dips and starters, known as meze, which are served with flatbread or pita for dipping. One of our favourite dips is baba ganoush, an eggplant-based dip that can also be found in Greek cuisine under the name melitzanosalata (aubergine salad).
History of Baba Ganoush
Like many other recipes, the origin of this Turkish aubergine dip is unknown, however, there is a suggestion that it first appeared during the 13th century. While the origin of Baba Ganoush is disputed, it’s generally believed to have originated in the Levant region, which includes modern-day Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. It’s closely related to other Middle Eastern aubergine dishes such as mutabbal or moutabal, which are popular in Lebanon and Syria.
What I found quite funny is the literal meaning of the name ‘baba ganoush.’ It’s derived from the Arabic word “baba,” which means father or daddy, and “ghanoush,” which means spoiled or pampered. So baba ganoush is a spoiled dad, but why? Maybe because his wife made this absolutely delicious meze and spoiled him with good food? Who knows😂
How to Make Homemade Baba Ganoush (It’s Easy!)
All you need is 4 main ingredients (aubergine, tahini, garlic and lemon juice), an oven, a food processor and about 30 minutes of time for making baba ganoush. And most of that time you just have to wait till the aubergine is baked. I like to use this time to make another Turkish dip – hummus! Or sometimes I’ll make homemade flatbread.
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Ingredients for Turkish Baba Ganoush Recipe
- Aubergine: 1 big or 2 small
- Fresh lemon juice, of half a lemon
- Tahini paste: 2 tbsp
- Extra virgin olive oil: 2 tbsp
- Garlic gloves: 2
- Smoked paprika: ½ tsp
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley (optional)
1.Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Wash the aubergines and cut them in half.
3. On each half, sprinkle some olive oil and salt. Poke up and down the full length of the back of the aubergine with a fork.
4. Place the aubergines on a baking tray covered with baking paper or aluminium foil, and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the skin is charred and the flesh is soft and tender. Alternatively, you can grill the aubergine over an open flame or on a grill until the skin is charred and the flesh is cooked through. It will give the aubergine a nice smoky flavour.
5. If you are like me and do not like a garlicky solid taste, I would recommend popping the garlic gloves into the oven for 10 minutes before the aubergine is done. Roasted garlic does not have such a strong flavour as raw garlic.
6. Once baked, let it cool down.
7. Remove the charred skin from the aubergine. In a food processor or blender, put the meat of the aubergine and the remaining ingredients: garlic, lemon juice, tahini and spices. You can also place the aubergine in a large bowl and mash it with a fork or a potato masher until it’s mostly smooth.
8. Mix all the ingredients on medium speed until it has a nice smooth consistency. If you feel it needs it, you can add more lemon juice, olive oil, or spices.
Serve with some pide bread or flatbread.
What to Serve with turkish Baba Ghanoush Recipe
Baba ganoush is a delicious and healthy dip: aubergine is high in fibre and antioxidants, while tahini (a paste made from ground sesame seeds) is a good source of protein, healthy fats, and minerals like calcium and iron. Baba ganoush can be served as a starter or appetiser. Here are some suggestions on what to serve with baba ganoush:
- Pita bread: Traditionally, baba ganoush is served with pita bread or any other flatbread. You can also try serving it with crackers or using it as a dip for your favourite pide or the delicious Turkish simit – a ring-shaped bread topped with sesame seeds.
- Olives: Baba ganoush is often served with olives, which make a great accompaniment to the dish.
- Feta cheese: Feta cheese is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and pairs well with baba ganoush. Crumble some feta cheese on top of the dip before serving.
- Grilled vegetables: Grilled vegetables like courgette and bell peppers make a perfect side dish for baba ganoush. You can also serve it with raw vegetable sticks like carrots, celery, and cucumber.
- Hummus: If you’re serving a meze platter, baba ganoush pairs well with hummus, another popular Mediterranean dip.
- Falafel: Baba ganoush can also be served as a side with falafel, a Middle Eastern dish made of chickpeas.
Overall, this baba ganoush recipe makes for a versatile dip that can be served with a variety of foods. Experiment and find your favourite combination!
Tips for Storing Baba Ganoush
Storing: Baba ganoush can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days if in an airtight container. Before storing, make sure the baba ganoush has cooled down to room temperature.
To help extend its shelf life, it’s best to add a layer of olive oil on top of the Baba Ganoush before storing it in the refrigerator. This will help create a seal and prevent air from entering the container which can cause the baba ganoush to spoil more quickly.
If you need to store baba ganoush for a longer period, you can also freeze it for up to 2-3 months. Simply transfer the baba ganoush to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing. When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and give it a good stir before serving. Keep in mind that the texture of the Baba Ganoush may be slightly affected by freezing, but the flavour should still be good.
Enjoy a Little Taste of Turkey
If you’re a fan of Turkish cuisine, make sure to explore our collection of Turkish recipes. You’ll discover an array of dishes that are sure to impress your loved ones, from the savoury delight of manti to the delectable sweetness of baklava – which is surprisingly easy to make.