Babaghanoush Recipe

Eggplant lovers,  you’ll be happy!

We all know Babaghanoush is a huge favorite, with Sephardi expats and beyond. (We Moroccans eat semi-industrial amounts of eggplant!) But somehow not all babaghanoush recipes are created equal. I suspect the reason is that the roasting on an open flame is a wonderful idea. It makes a huge mess on the stovetop, followed by the messy peeling. It can be a real deterrent.

But, I have found a clean and streamlined way to obtain that roasted and smoked flavor that is so prized in Babaghanoush. I peel it first, then roast it in a high temperature oven until it is dark and thoroughly dry. Dry is key, meaning, don’t just drain the extra moisture or you might lose the concentrated smoky flavor. But rather, roast the eggplant until no moisture remains, to seal in all the smoky flavor.

Do not skip the mayonnaise in the babaghanoush dip, a little goes a long way, and it lightens up the flavor, color and texture, and nicely offsets the other more ethnic flavors. My secret spice here is ground coriander, my mother used it abundantly in our Moroccan dishes, I just couldn’t be without it.


  • 2 large eggplant (about 2 1/2 pounds total), peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup tehina paste
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, light OK
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • Good pinch cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil, spray generously with vegetable spray, place the eggplant halves on the foil, and spray again generously with vegetable spray. Roast for about 45 minutes, until the eggplant is dark and wilted and all moisture has evaporated. In a food processor, finely grind the garlic. Add the eggplant while still warm, and all remaining ingredients and grind coarsely, making sure the mixture remains lumpy, not allowing it to form a smooth paste. Serve with pita or good crackers, or use as a dip for crudites.

6 replies
  1. Dee
    Dee says:

    I separated some babaganoush (as well as hummus – from your book) into small dressing containers so we can take them along for snack. I put some into the freezer, and will let you know how it works out.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Dee please do share how it comes out. 90% chance that it will come out just great. It’s just that I am always afraid of mayo, even small amounts, breaking up and separating during the freezing process. So: We are staying tuned!

    • Dee
      Dee says:

      Just wanted to let you know that my experiment worked. Although people say to never freeze anything with mayonnaise, I think the texture of my defrosted babaganoush was even better than that of the hummus, which people freeze more often. I’m glad to have another great recipe that I can prepare in advance.

      Thanks for always encouraging your readers / students to experiment!
      Chag sameach! :-)

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Dee Oooohhhh YAY! Do you know what would really be useful? If you posted your “experiment”, and my “guidance”, on my Fan Page Timeline, where typically everyone is always hungry (excuse the pun) for such tips. Babaghanoush freezes well? that’s exciting NEWS! And as you know there’s a great shortage of good news in the news. Here’s my fan page address, like the page then post away:

  2. Dee
    Dee says:

    We LOVE this technique. It comes out delicious & full of flavor, without being liquidy.
    Just wondering… can this be frozen? Once I’m putting in the effort, I’d love to get more out of it.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Dee, hmmm, I would only say, try freezing a little bit of it, see how well it freezes. If it comes good when thawed, then it is good to go!

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