Friday, April 8, 2011

Mtabal (Lebanese baba ghanoush)

Mtabal is an eggplant dip (like how hummus (a.k.a. msabaha) is a dip). In parts of the world and especially here in America baba ghanoush is the name given to this dip but in Syria baba ghanoush is an eggplant dip made with lemon, parsley and pomegranate. This is known as Mtabal and is eaten usually with kibbeh and mashawi (grilled meat). This is extremely simple to do and anyone can make it. Confession: i have never eaten mtabal because i am not a HUGE fan or eggplant but I make it for my husband and he loves it (most people do). I tasted it for the first time after making it for the blog and it is good i just don't like the texture of eggplant. Anyways here is how I make it.

Ok so usually you would use the big eggplant (according the the eggplant expert, my husband the big ones have the best flavor) but I didn't find any in the store so these work fine. I would not suggest using the really small ones (the ones for makdoos)
Poke holes in them with a fork
Place them on the stove if it is a gas stove, if not them stick them in the oven on broil. Rotate them as they burn or crinkle.
Nice roasted eggplant.
Cover them in foil and close it well so they steam and finish cooking on the inside, also it will make it easier to peel the skin of the eggplant.
After you peel stick them in a bowl. The only difference I can see with these small eggplant is that they are not white like the big ones. Like i have mentioned before, Arabs care about the way their food looks and don't like their food dark. My MIL, for example, won't even add spices to food so that is won't get dark.
Chop the eggplant in big chunks (some people puree it in a food processor but authentically there should be chunks in the mtabal) Add some yogurt
Add tahini
Add salt and garlic and mix
Serve in a bowl chilled or at room temperature. Decorate with smoked paprika, turnip pickles, and parsley and olive oil (or whatever you want really)
Serve with pita bread

Written Recipe:
1 big eggplant (or 5 small long ones)
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of yogurt
1 tablespoon of tahini
salt to taste

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Maysa, Jawad's always begging me to make it this way, "3ala 2oosoola" as he says.. Because my mom always fries the eggplant instead and that's how I've had it my whole life, it's soooooo good that way.(It looks like that's the only difference between how you and I make it)
    But khalas I'll try this way for him. Have you ever done it on the grill? and Have you ever tried it without the laban? That's what Jawad tells me? I dunno..