Whether you know it as mutabbal, moutabal, caviar d’aubergines or baba ganoush, the smoke-scented aubergine puree is a classic.
Baba ganoush is a Lebanese dish of aubergine, mashed and mixed with virgin olive oil and various seasonings. I suppose you could say it’s the lesser known cousin of hummus, only instead of chickpeas you have aubergine.
Good baba ganoush is reliant on the smokey, charred flavour of the aubergines, although I like to help it along with a little smoked salt too. Too many versions of this recipe fail to recognize the importance of scorching the aubergines over a grill or hot flame. This is essential to give the smoky quality that lends such a distinctive note to the dish.
Feel free to drizzle with some pomegranate molasses or pomegranate seeds – this works particularly well with lamb – if you feel like it, but, please don’t go too mad with the flavourings; this is an opportunity for the aubergines earthiness to shine.