I'm going to start off by asking for your forgiveness. I have an authentic version of the Lebanese baba ganoush recipe because I practically ate it every week growing up as a kid. However, over time I started to "tweak" things and after many years, I made my own "version".
It's not you, it's me. Baba ganoush you are already perfect, and I'm so sorry to do this to you. But literally, this recipe is even better (in my opinion), than the original.
I will make another post on the original traditional Lebanese baba ganoush recipe, but for now, follow me on this journey of garlic, lemon, pomegranate, and roasted eggplant.
What is Baba Ganoush (aka Baba Ghanouj)?
Baba ganoush is a roasted eggplant dip, and it's a staple in every Lebanese home. In my Lebanese home growing up, we always had labneh, hummus, and baba ghanouj on hand. Anytime we were hungry, we'd grab some pita bread and have a snack. It's kind of like chips and salsa or cheese and crackers.
Ingredients You'll Need:
- Eggplant: To be honest, you can use any kind of decently sized eggplant, however, I go for the large purple kind at the grocery store. When you roast eggplant, they sort of "deflate" leaving you with a lot less than you started with.
- Pomegranate seeds: You can either deseed a pomegranate or buy pomegranate seeds from the grocery store. You can skip this ingredient if you really badly need to, but try not to if you can. Pomegranate seeds take this dish to the next level.
- Bell Pepper: This is normally not in a traditional baby ghanouj recipe, but I add it for the extra crunch. You can use red, yellow, green, or orange bell peppers.
- Olive Oil: You need some good extra virgin high-quality olive oil.
- Fresh Garlic: You will need to mash the garlic with a mortar and pestle. You cannot get the same taste with chopped garlic.
- Fresh Parsley: This is not required but nice to have. Chop it thinly and use it for garnish.
- Lemons: This baba ganoush recipe needs freshly squeezed lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice is not recommended.
- Pomegranate syrup: Pomegranate syrup is the same thing as pomegranate molasses. It's sweet, tangy, and the consistency of a thick syrup. It's not as thick as honey, and it's the color of a dark deep brownish-purple.
- Salt: This will be to taste. I really like flaked salt at the moment.
You will also need:
- Chef’s knife and cutting board
- Large oven baking pan: I recommend using a cookie sheet.
- Parchment paper
- Lemon squeezer
- Mortar and pestle: This is used to crush the garlic.
How to Make Baba Ghanouj From Scratch
- Roast the eggplant and remove the skin.
- Chop bell peppers and parsley.
- Deseed the pomegranate.
- Squeeze the lemon.
- Mash the garlic.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Mix everything together.
- Add some olive oil and pomegranate syrup (if you have some).
For specific instructions and quantities, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Options and Variations
If you really badly want this baba ghanouj to taste like an authentic Lebanese baba ghanouj, then you need to add tahini (about 3 tbsp for this recipe) and omit the bell peppers, pomegranate seeds, and pomegranate syrup.
Traditionally the eggplant is roasted on an open flame for baba ganoush, giving this charred smokey flavor. If you have access to a grill, you can roast the eggplant on the grill instead. Place the whole eggplant on the grill just as it is. Turn the flame down low and roast for about 30 minutes, occasionally turning the eggplant over. Allow the eggplant to cool, then remove the skin of the eggplant.
What Do You Eat Baba Ganoush With?
Baba ghanouj is traditionally eaten with pita bread. You can also eat it with pita chips, toasted bread, or on its own (what I do most of the time).
Baba ganoush is like an appetizer or side dish, and it's very common to be part of a mezze platter. This recipe pairs well with:
Is Baba Ganoush Healthy?
Yes! This baba ganoush recipe uses all-natural ingredients. Traditional baba ganoush recipes use tahini, which has been omitted for this recipe.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
You can store baba ganoush in the fridge for up to 4 days.