Baba ghanoush (UK: /ˌbɑːbə ɡæˈnʃ/, US: /- ɡəˈnʃ, - ɡəˈnʒ/;[3][4][5] Arabic: بابا غنوج, romanizedbābā ġannūj listen), also spelled baba ganoush or baba ghanouj,[3][4][5][6] is a Levantine appetizer consisting of finely chopped roasted eggplant, olive oil, lemon juice, various seasonings, and tahini.[5][6][7] The eggplant is traditionally baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste.[8] It is a typical meze ('starter') of the regional cuisine, often served as a side to a main meal and as a dip for pita bread.[6]

Baba ghanoush
Place of originLevant[1]
Associated cuisineIraq, Armenia,[2] Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, and Turkey
Main ingredientsEggplant, olive oil
Moutabbal (or M'tabbal) and pita bread
Place of originLevant
Main ingredientsEggplant, olive oil

A very similar dish is mutabbal (Arabic: متبل lit. 'spiced'). Mutabbal is sometimes said to be a spicier version of baba ghanoush.

Etymology edit

The word bābā in Arabic means 'father' and is also a term of endearment, while ġannūj could be a personal name.[4] The word combination is also interpreted as "father of coquetry" or "indulged/pampered/flirtatious daddy" or "spoiled old daddy".[3][6][9] It is not certain whether the word bābā refers to the eggplant, or to an actual person indulged by the dish.[6]

Varieties edit

Eastern Arabian cuisine versions of the dish vary slightly from those of the Levant by spicing it with coriander and cumin;[9] those versions might be minimally spiced and topped with thinly chopped parsley or coriander leaves.[10]

In Turkey, the dish is known as babaganuş or abugannuş. While the ingredients vary from region to region, the essentials (eggplants, tahini, garlic, lemon) are generally the same.[citation needed]

In Armenia, the dish is known as mutabal. The essential ingredients in Armenian mutabal are eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon, and onion; and most Armenians also add cumin.[citation needed]

In Romania, a similar dish is known as salată de vinete. It lacks tahini and is made from finely chopped roasted eggplant, finely chopped onions, sunflower oil (explicitly not olive oil [11][12] because it makes the appetizer bitter), salt and, optionally, mayonnaise.[13]

In Syria, the dish is often mixed with sheep cheese, which turns it into a creamier dish.[14]

Food writer and historian Gil Marks writes in his book that: "Israelis learned to make baba ghanouj from the Arabs".[6] An Israeli variant, salat ḥatzilim, is made with fried or grilled eggplants mixed with mayonnaise, salt, lemon and chopped fried onions.[15][16] It is usually topped with olive oil when served.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Baba Ghanoush". 13 September 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Baba Ghanoush". 4 November 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "baba ghanouj". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). HarperCollins. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "baba ghanouj" (US) and "baba ganoush". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "baba ghanoush". Dictionary. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Gil Marks (2010). "Baba Ghanouj". Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780544186316.
  7. ^ Baba ganoush (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2006. A Middle Eastern (originally Lebanese) dish of puréed roasted aubergine, garlic, and tahini. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  8. ^ Khayat, Marie Karam; Keatinge, Margaret Clark. Food from the Arab World, Khayats, Beirut, Lebanon.
  9. ^ a b Salloum, Habeeb (28 February 2012). The Arabian Nights Cookbook: From Lamb Kebabs to Baba Ghanouj, Delicious Homestyle Arabian Cooking. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462905249.
  10. ^ "Baba Ganoush: Quintessentially Levantine". Your Middle East. 7 January 2013. Archived from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  11. ^ Marin, Sanda (1995). Carte de bucate (Cookbook) (in Romanian). București (Bucharest): Editura Orizonturi. pp. 31–32. ISBN 973-95583-2-1.
  12. ^ Jurcovan, Silvia (2012). Carte de bucate (Cookbook) (in Romanian). București (Bucharest): Editura Humanitas. pp. 90–91. ISBN 978-973-50-3475-7.
  13. ^ Hansen, Eliza (1973). Meine rumänischen Spezialitäten (My Romanian Specialties) (in German). Hamburg: Ed. Christians. p. 10. ISBN 3-7672-0229-8.
  14. ^ "Baba ganoush ou caviar d'aubergines". Panier de Saison: recettes, accords mets-vins, jardinage et tourisme local (in French). October 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
  15. ^ Levy, F. Feast from the Mideast (2003) p.41
  16. ^ Nathan, J. (2011). Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 57–58. ISBN 978-0-307-77785-0. Retrieved 23 December 2016.

Bibliography edit