Smokey baba ganoush - grilled eggplant and tahini dip

Updated: Sep 26

Baba ganoush, often called "baba" is a levantine appetizer consisting of smoked/roasted eggplant, tahini paste, lemon juice and garlic. It's absolutely delicious on toast with herbs or rocket leaves, as a dip or addition to mains like vegan veggie bowls, roast chicken or fish dishes.

Eggplant can be prepared in many ways: grilled, fried, roasted, steamed or braised. I love the smokiness you get when you grill the eggplant over a flame or bbq grill. It's fast, delicious and brings so much more flavour into your dish!

This dip was a staple in my family growing up alongside hummus and other dips that I'm happy to share on this blog. Both hummus and baba ganoush are high in fibre (eggplant/chickpeas), low in calories and rich in Omega-3s (the good fats).

The word 'baba ganoush' translates to 'the spoilt dad' in Arabic. If you know the reason why, I'd love to hear your version! If you've tried a few levantine dips, you will notice that baba ganoush is the creamier and more flavourful version of most, including the popular hummus. It's made with more effort and intention and therefore you are spoiling someone when making it for them - or your dad!

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Roast or smoke the eggplant on a grill or barbeque instead of the oven. This will ensure you get the delicious, thick and stringy texture of the eggplant in addition to a smokey flavour from the fire. You want to make sure you smoke the eggplant on high heat to the point where it's cooked but not soggy. I would recommend cutting the eggplant in half and then piercing some holes on the open side so that you can check on the consistency as it cooks.

Once cooked, let it cool before peeling the black skin off. Ensure you've removed all the skin so you don't get charcoal in your dip.

If you are preparing the smoked eggplant in advance, place the eggplant into an airtight container with a squeeze of lemon on top so it keeps until you're ready to make the dip.

Smokey eggplant on a piece of bread is creamy and delicious - combine it with roasted garlic and it's magic!

Smokey baba ganoush

Time: 30 Minutes Yield: 4 Servings

Nutrition Facts (coming soon)


1-2 Medium sized eggplants

1/2 cup tahini paste (hulled, no added oils)

1-2 garlic cloves (or, roast 1 garlic head until caramelised)

1 tsp salt

1/2 lemon, juiced


1. Turn on a barbeque grill or hibachi to medium heat and let it warm up. Ensure the grill is clean. I like to cut a lemon in half and rub the grill with the lemon (open face down) until it's saturated!

2. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant in half and sprinkle salt on top. Let it sit until the grill is ready to use. Wipe down any excess water and salt from the eggplant and then place the eggplant, curved side to grill. Close the grill if possible and let it cook until soft - this should take approx. 5-10 minutes depending on grill. You can pierce small holes into the open part of the eggplant to check whether it's cooked or not. You won't need to flip the eggplant while it roasts.

Alternatively, if you don't have a grill - you can roast the eggplant in the oven (200 degrees for 15-20 minutes) however the consistency will be a little more watery and you won't get the smokey flavour.

3. If you want roasted garlic in the dip as well, wrap a head of garlic in foil and place onto the grill/in oven to cook. This should take about 15-20 minutes and it'll be ready when the garlic head has softened. If you prefer fresh garlic, peel and crush 1-2 garlic cloves and place aside.

4. Once cooked, take everything off the heat and let them cool.

5. Peel the black skin off the grilled eggplant and place the eggplant into a blender or food processor. Add garlic (if you've roasted garlic, cut off the top and squeeze it into the blender), salt, tahini, lemon and whiz it up until creamy and chunky. Taste the dip and add more salt, lemon or tahini until you achieve balance. Tahini is a great way to thicken it up if it's runny.

6. Enjoy with olive oil drizzled on top.


For more ideas, head to this page for a potato and harissa topping recipe!



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