Mutabbal Batinjan | Fire-Roasted Eggplant Dip


Mutabbal is traditionally served at the beginning of a meal alongside other small dishes as part of a mezze table.  It is a popular starter throughout the Levant and the Mediterannean and pairs well with grilled meats.



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2 lbs eggplant pulp, from 6 medium-large globe eggplants
1/4-to-1/3 cup sesame tahini paste; give jar a shake before use
6 tablespoons yogurt
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-to-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 teaspoon red Aleppo pepper

for garnish:
minced parsley, pomegranate arils, red pepper flakes and olive oil
sliced rustic bread, pita chips, bread sticks, crackers and potato chips

Prepare eggplant pulp. Wash eggplant, pat-dry and prick in several places using a fork. Roast on the grill, under a broiler or over a stove-top flame until skin is completed charred and shriveled all over. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel a piece of the skin off and scoop out the soft flesh using a spoon. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer, cover and chill in the fridge overnight until excess liquid is thoroughly drained. At this point you can either roughly mash pulp using a fork or give it a few pulses in a food processor for a smoother finish.

Blend remaining ingredients in a mini food processor until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gently fold into prepared eggplant pulp and adjust seasoning as needed.

Transfer into a bowl or spread onto a platter and garnish with parsley, pomegranate arils, pepper flakes and a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve cold with bread, crackers or chips.



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