This is a universally appealing dip of Lebanese origins. The smoky flavour goes so well with pita bread. I am a bit of a food history buff and always wonder about the origins if I find similarities to a classic well known dish. In India, they make baingan bartha and there are regional variations too. I love the smell of charring eggplants on the open flame. The Chinese also do something similar and it is called Huo Shao Qie Zi. I guess it just goes to show that people travelled and shared their culinary heritage.
2 large round eggplants (weighing about 500g)
2 tablespoons tahini
½ cup of roughly chopped parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
There are two ways of charring the eggplants. The first one is to put the eggplant directly on the gas flame, rotating it every minute or so, until it is evenly charred and cooked. This should take about 8 -10 minutes. Allow to cool. Once cool, peel off the skin which is now charred. I actually don’t mind if there are specs of charred skin in the flesh as this adds to the smoky flavour.
The other method is to preheat your oven to 230 degrees. Make small pricks or incisions with a knife on your eggplants. Place in oven for an hour turning them around twice during the cooking. Once completely cooked, let it cool. Peel the skin off and use the flesh.
Place flesh in the jar of a food processor. Add all other ingredients. Pulse to combine and give a quick blitz to a coarse puree. Serve with pita bread, pita crisps or crackers.