Fire-Roasted Eggplant Dip

Smoky, garlicky, healthy, and simple – I am totally in love with this dip. Baba Ganouj is a Middle Eastern eggplant dip. The original Greek recipe calls for Greek Yoghurt, which I skipped. Yet the result was amazing. I can only imagine how tasty the original must be! Once you try this recipe, you will never buy a dip from the market. Serve it with breadsticks and vegetables to guests, pack it off along with crackers to the kids for snacks, or just spread them on to your bread toast. It is amazingly delicious. I seriously love this purple vegetable!

Ingredients:
Baingan/Eggplant (Large purple variety) – 1 large
Garlic – 1 clove
Lemon – 1/2
Black pepper – 7-8
Jeera/cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes 1 cup

Method:
Wash the eggplant and pat dry. Use a fork and prick the eggplant all over. Place on gas flame and roast it over a low flame. Turn the sides about every 30 seconds so that the eggplant gets cooked all over and completely. Remove from flame when the outer skin is charred and you get the smoky eggplant smell. This would take about 2-3 mins. Alternatively, you can use an oven to do this. But you will get a smoky flavor only if you roast it directly on fire. Wait for the eggplant to cool a bit, and then remove the stem and peel off the outer skin carefully. Chop the eggplant. If you feel that some parts of the eggplant is uncooked, cook the eggplant on a pan along with tablespoon of olive oil for about 3-4 mins. You may avoid this step if the eggplant gets fully roasted over the flame. Allow to cool.

In a mixer, grind the eggplant, garlic, salt, pepper, and jeera seeds, together. Add lemon juice and make into a smooth paste. Adjust pepper/salt/garlic as required. Garnish with dil leaves, parsley, or use the Italian pasta/pizza garnish. Drizzle olive oil. Healthy, delicious, and easy eggplant dip is ready to be served with crackers, bread toast, sliced cucumber, carrot, bell pepper slices.

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