Mutabbal

Eggplant  (Aubergines) dip, eat it with Arabic bread or crackers, similar to Hummos, except for using eggplants instead of chickpeas.

2 large eggplants
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of "Tahine" (Sesame Paste)
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 green chili pepper
salt and olive oil to taste

 

Remove the head of the eggplants, and make two horizontal incisions with the knife on each side of the eggplant. Place the eggplants under the grill for 30 minutes, until the skin is almost burnt. In the meantime, mix the two tablespoons of Tehina with the lemon juice until it becomes a smooth light beige uniform paste. Remove the eggplants, and place them on a plate. Bring a deep dish and open up the eggplants. Start removing the inside of the eggplants and placing it in the deep dish. Make sure you don't take any of the skin. The insides of the eggplant will be slightly watery, so mix it with a fork which would at the same time cut it into smaller pieces, almost a paste though not uniform in any way. Add the Tehina paste and mix well with the fork. Crush the garlic cloves with the chili pepper and add to the mixture. Mix well. Add salt and olive oil to taste.

Note: Garlic is really 'to taste' (in some case  just 1 garlic clove otherwise it masks the other aromas). Aubergines were traditionally barbequed until skin flakes off to give the smoky tangy taste but obviously if its not practical to do that so, grilling will do fine. Sometimes pomegranate paste is used, when lemons are not in abundance, but it tends to darken the mixture to a chocolate color. Garnished with pomegranate seed and parsley.



Tahine

Ingredients:

sesame seed
sea salt
lemon juice

Grind half a cup of white sesame seeds as fine as you can in your hand grinder or in a blender. Beat in two tablespoons of cold water with a whisk. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice and salt to taste, say a quarter of a teaspoon.
Thin with a few drops more of water to the consistency you require. Let stand for a quarter hour before serving.
Hand this sauce at table with salads, use it to construct sandwiches, or serve as a dip for crudités.

Note: The sesame is an ancient cultivar, out of the Indian sub-continent, and is very rich in unsaturated fatty acids and calcium among other useful nutrients.

 



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