1 to 3clovesgarlicdependent on size and preference - minced
2 to 3tbspchopped coriander (cilantro)
2 tbspfresh lemon juice30 ml (or to taste)
½ to 1tspSMOKED paprika
black pepperfreshly ground - to taste
sea saltsmoked if available - to taste
1tspoak smoked wateroptional (see main post)
1tbspextra virgin olive oil
Roast and drain the aubergine (eggplant)
Heat the oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and arrange face-down on the lined baking tray.
Roast in the oven until they are very well done and collapsing in on themselves if poked. The flesh should be very soft. This will take about 40 to 45 minutes, but may be a little longer if using large aubergines.
When roasted, remove from the oven and cool slightly (until still nice and warm but able to handle).
Whilst cooling, get ready a sieve placed over a medium-sized bowl.
Once you can hold them, use a spoon to scoop out all the flesh (including the dry, open, charred flesh) into the sieve, to drain any excess liquid. Discard the skin.
Allow the roasted aubergine to drain for at least 20 minutes.
Make the Baba Ganoush
Once drained, discard the liquid from the bowl and then tip the aubergine back into the bowl.
Add all the other ingredients, EXCEPT the oil. For each of the ingredients, there are variations on quantity dependent on size of ingredient or personal taste preference. If unsure, start at a lower quantity and then adjust to taste at the end.
Mix all the ingredients together by 'beating' vigorously with a fork. If you prefer, you can use a blender for a completely smooth dip, but the flavours are more distinct and the texture more interesting when left a little 'chunky'.
Once mixed, taste and adjust for preference.
Drizzle the olive oil over the top and garnish with a little fresh coriander and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
Serve either warm or cold with flatbreads, pitta, corn chips, on toast, in buddha bowls, etc
* Note: nutritional information is an estimate & may vary according to portion size/ingredient variants.Very large aubergine (eggplant) tend to contain larger seeds which can alter the texture of the dip. It is therefore better to use small to medium fruit. Make sure also that they are not over-ripe. Heavy, shiny, smooth and perfect-skinned aubergines are fresher and will not be bitter.