Baba ghanoush (Arabic بابا غنوج bābā ġanūj) is a popular Levantine dish of eggplant (aubergine) mashed and mixed with various seasonings. Frequently the eggplant is baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste.
Baba ghanoush is usually eaten as a dip with pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is usually of an earthy light brown color.
A similar dish is known as mutabbal in the Levant. Traditionally, the eggplant is first roasted in an oven for approximately 30 minutes. The softened flesh is scooped out, squeezed to remove excess water, and is then pureed with the tahini. There are many variants of the recipe, especially the seasoning. Possible seasonings include garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt, mint, and parsley. When served on a plate or bowl, it is traditional to drizzle the top with olive oil.
In Israel, the most common version is made from mashed grilled aubergines with tahini and spices. Sometimes the tahini is replaced by mayonnaise and the salad is called "סלט חצילים" (aubergine salad).
In Northern India, particularly the Punjab province, Baingan Bartha is a similar dish prepared by grilling Indian eggplant over open charcoal flame to impart a smoky flavor to the flesh and then cooked with an assortment of spices, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Served with Indian breads like Paratha, Roti, Kulcha, etc.
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