Authentic Babaganoush Recipe

Goal of today’s post: to find the most authentic babaganoush recipe possible.

While there isn’t too much authentic foreign food in Costa Rica, something you can find easily is Mediterranean or, more specifically, Lebanese food. With the Lebanese restaurant Sash within walking distance from my office, I am delighted to say we frequently have delicious, low carb, Mediterranean food. Why do I mention ‘low carb’? Well, because my husband and I have started the 4 Hour Body book and diet to see what we can do about toning up our bodies. The result has been great so far, and we’re about five weeks into it. Basically, this means we can’t eat any pastas, rices, fruit, sugars or other foods that are high in carbs (including beer…boooo) except on our cheat day once a week. So, Sash is a great restaurant for this type of diet because it’s all meat and veggies (just avoid the flatbread and desserts).

A typical starter for the table at Sash is the blissful triad of Tabbouleh, Hummus and Babaganoush served with homemade pita-ish flatbread. Tabbouleh is a dish whose main ingredients are cracked Bulgar wheat and curly-leafed parsley flavored with a bit of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Hummus is of course made from chick peas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), garlic, cumin, lemon juice and vegetable/olive oil. Finally, the Babaganoush is made from roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, coriander and garlic.

We’ll leave the tabbouleh and hummus for a different post, but for now we’re gonna dissect the babaganoush to find the perfect recipe. A few months ago, my co-workers and a few others met up at Sash for some drinks after work when the owner struck up a conversation with us. This then led somehow to the making of babaganoush and he quickly shuffled us back into the kitchen to watch how they made it. The quick version is: roast the eggplant until the skin is black, peel the skin off, pureé, add some junk and serve! Delish.

We’ll break down the recipe below and show you a little twist or two of how we made it our own. It’s a healthy dish that can be made on a budget.

Babaganoush Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 large, fresh eggplant (stem/leaves cut off)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini paste
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra Olive Oil and parsley for garnish

Babaganoush Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to a high temperature broil, or preheat a grill
  2. Slice the eggplant in two length-wise (this step can be omitted, but I prefer this method).
  3. If you’re using the broiler, place the sliced eggplant skin side up on a cookie sheet. If you’re doing it on a grill, place the eggplant skin side down against the flames.
  4. Roast the eggplant for 10-15 minutes until the skin is just turning black, but watch it so the inside of the vegetable doesn’t burn or dry out. There’s no need to flip the eggplant with this method.
  5. Prepare an ice bath and plunge the roasted eggplant into the icebath for 2-3 minutes until it’s cool to the touch.
  6. oven roasted eggplant

  7. Peel off the charred skin, slice into chunks and place into a large food processor (I find a blender doesn’t work very well for babaganoush).
  8. Add the tahini, lime juice, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper (you can add more later).
  9. Process until smooth
  10. Serve in a small dish and add a few drizzles of extra olive oil. Best served with warm pita.