Smile Daddy, You Are Being Coddled!
A Traditional and very popular dish, Baba Ghannouj invokes affection… with a smile. It means literally “coddled and cosseted daddy”. Ghannouj is a Lebanese (male) adjective. The written Arabic says instead Moudallal for coddled and cosseted.
The origin of that funny affectionate name for such a delicious dish is unknown. We can only assume what it invokes: A dish that requires roasting the eggplants, then peeling them while hot, before proceeding; all so to please a cosseted daddy that existed once upon a time. 🙂
Whoever the daughter who created that dish to please her daddy did indeed a superb job. The Baba-Ghannouj is a great palate pleasing, and a good health supporter.
In some neighboring Cuisines, this dish has another name, less affectionate and less cool, and it is Mtabal Battenjen.
However, in Lebanon, the Mtabal has a different recipe than the Baba Ghannouj. The Mtabal, which is a culinary term that means “seasoned”, has no Tahini dressing. Instead, it comes with finely chopped tomatoes, parsley and spring onions.
Baba-Ghannouj Health Benefits
The Eggplant, which is the main component here, provides you with great nutrient values. That in addition to the benefits of the Tahini, the Lemon Juice and the Garlic.
Studies have proven that Eggplants have no fat and very little calories, and they are:
- High in two types of antioxidant that help treat and prevent viral diseases.
- Rich in iron, calcium and vitamins, dominantly vitamin C, folate, B vitamins, and vitamin A, which improve your overall health, boost your immune system, and improve your resistance to various diseases.
- High in minerals that help prevent arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
- Great source of Dietary Fiber that protects against colon cancer, support the digestive system, and helps manage diabetes.
- Good to improve blood circulation and nourish the brain.
- Good supporter of Heart Health by lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol when baked or roasted, controlling high blood pressure and relieving stress.
- Good in preventing blood clots with its Vitamin K and
Tahini is a Source of High Quality Protein
Baba Ghannouj: The Quickest 25-minute Recipe!
This recipe is inspired by the healthy one of the award-winner Lebanese nutritionist Monique Zaarour. I like that she skips the long process of roasting and peeling, and the mess involved.
Instead, the eggplants are peeled raw, cut roughly, and then cooked in the microwave for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, you can prepare the required Tahini dressing.
It actually took me about 20 minutes yesterday to prepare the Baba-Ghannouj with this method. No more mess, burnt fingers, and frustration when skinning off the hot eggplants. And it was super delicious!
This delicious dish constitutes an excellent side-dish for grilled meats, barbecue, and Mezza. Enjoy!
Creamy Eggplant with Tahini: The Baba Ghannouj
- 500 gr Eggplant or 1 Large
- 3 tbsps Tahini Paste
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 4 tbsps Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsps Yogurt
- 1/2 tsp Salt or to taste
- 1 pinch Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Lebanese 7-Spice
- 2 tbsps Fresh Parsley finely chopped
- Olive Oil extra-virgin
- 2 Lemon slices
Peel the Eggplant, cut into big cubes, and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes.
On a side bowl, whisk the garlic with Tahini, Yogurt, Lemon juice, and season with salt and spices.
Remove the eggplant cubes from the microwave.
Mash them well with a fork, and stir in the dressing.
Serve in a plate, drizzle on some olive oil, and garnish with the parsley and the lemon slices.
Cool at room temperature or chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Eat with Lebanese Pita Bread, soft or toasted.
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