Baba Ghanoush, Muttabal, Moutabal

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Baba Ghanoush, Muttabal or Moutabal - Smoky Eggplant Dip from the Middle East
Baba Ghanoush, Muttabal or Moutabal – Smoky Eggplant Dip

As I continue to explore the vegetarian African/Middle-Eastern cuisine this holy month of Ramzan, one thing I am keeping an eye on is looking for recipes that don’t need a great deal of preparation or then can be made in advance.

Today, I am falling back on the traditional and popular smoky brinjal dip known as Baba Ghanoush (also called Moutabal or Muttabal). Before I go any further, let me qualify with this post by saying that I tried to read up extensively on the difference between Baba Ghanoush and Moutabal. There are decidedly a whole range of diverse opinions there but I have found that the basic ingredients are the same. In some cases, Moutabal has yogurt added to it. Given how similar the two recipes are, I am using this as a common recipe.

Coming back to Baba Ghanoush, I love anything to do with eggplants and when I found myself with 3 large specimens, I decided to try out this smoky, garlicky eggplant dip. It was a wonderful change from the traditional Andhra recipes of Vankaya Pachi Pulusu and Vankaya Perugu Pachadi.

How to Make Baba Ghanoush, Muttabal, Moutabal

Makes: 1 Cup

Cooking Time: 60 Minutes


  1. Large Eggplants (Bharta Baingan) – 2
  2. Tahini – 1/4 Cup
  3. Lemon Juice – 1 to 2 tbsp
  4. Garlic Cloves – 2 or 3
  5. Parsley – A Handful
  6. Salt to Taste
  7. Olive Oil for Garnish

Method to Roast the Eggplant

  1. Apply a thin film of oil to the eggplant.
  2. Place the eggplant directly over an open flame.
  3. Slowly cook the eggplant over low to medium flame.
  4. Rotate the eggplant at regular intervals so that it cooks evenly.
  5. Cook the eggplant till the skin becomes crackly and charred and the eggplant becomes very soft.
  6. Place the roasted eggplant in a colander to drain the excess liquid and cool.

Method to Make the Baba Ghanoush

  1. Chop the parsley to fine pieces.
  2. Peel the roasted eggplant.
  3. Grind the roasted eggplant, garlic cloves, Tahini and salt into a smooth paste.
  4. Mix in the sea salt, lemon juice, and parsley.
  5. Drizzle some olive oil.


  • I place a plate right under the burner as some liquid will drip from the eggplant as it cooks.
  • Ensure that you roast the eggplant slowly over a medium flame. On a high flame, the skin chars but the eggplant itself remains raw.


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