Photography by Susan Bell

Photography by Susan Bell


Baba ghanoush is a popular Middle Eastern dish, often served as a dip with pitta breads. I sometimes add cooked chickpeas to mine for a simple, flavoursome curry, or toss it through pasta with fresh mint for an easy lunch. I highly recommend cooking the aubergines over an open flame for a deep, smoky intensity – I hold mine over a medium gas hob with a pair of barbecue tongs and my sleeves rolled up – although charring under the grill is nearly as good. (A traditional baba wouldn’t use the chopped tomatoes, by the way, but when I wrote this recipe, I didn’t have £2.30 for a jar of tahini to sit in my cupboard! You could use a teaspoon of peanut butter thinned with a little oil for a substitute for tahini, if you like.)

Serves 2:

1 large aubergine
a fat clove of garlic
1 tablespoon oil
a pinch of cumin (ground or seeds)
juice and zest of half a lemon, or 1 tbsp bottled lemon juice
1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes
a handful of fresh coriander

Chop the stem off the end of the aubergine and pierce the skin all over with a fork or sharp knife. Cook under a hot grill or over an open flame for 10 minutes, turning to char the skin on all sides.

Cut the aubergine in half and spoon the flesh from the skin (which can be discarded) into a small pan.

Peel and crush the garlic and add to the aubergine, along with the oil and cumin. Soften on a low heat for a few minutes, then add the lemon and tomatoes. Stir and cook until heated through. Finely chop the coriander, and stir through to serve.

Baba Ghanoush recipe from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe. Available to order from The Hive, supporting your local independent book store.

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  1. This is a good time to break out a bit of decent olive oil and look away, rather than measure as you pour. Yes it ramps up the cost and the calories, but also make it about a thousand times better and you get to dip loads more bread, so it sort of goes further as well.
    And if you do two aubergines rather than one (roughly the same amount of mess), you can compare this to the more kingly (and yes, calorific) moutabel, tahina permitting.

  2. if i use even less oil… there will be no calories whatsoever! yippee… I’ve 1 stone to lose… but i will have to dip with celery and stuff… not delicious carbs… grrr no matter….
    … thank you lovely Jack! xx

  3. Hmm perfect for a friend to come home to after a flight, might even get the kids to try it 🙂 Well it’s a good excuse for me to have it lol

  4. I roasted the cumin before grinding it, skipped the tomatoes and added one spoon of tahini and it was sooo good! thank you for the inspiration Jack!

  5. So loving your recipe book—– I am a pensioner! So often one buys a recipe book for one recipe—- but I am trying and enjoying them all in your book! Thankyou Sallyxxx

    Sent from my iPad


  6. Lovely jack thanks. Great suggestion to sub peanut butter for tahini, I do it all the time, last time I made hoummous and couldnt get tahini i used it and it went down a storm. This was yum and so fresh tasting xx

  7. I work in the Middle East and almost daily for breakfast we have Foule and Tamis. This is a foule madames bean and tomato dip with large flat breads.

    I have made the Foule many times and it is so simple, if I can offer you this:

    Use the cheapest you can find. All tins the same size.

    Chopped medium sized onion
    Tin of baked beans
    Tin of chopped tomatoes
    Tin of chickpeas
    Medium curry powder
    Couple,of spoons of yoghurt
    Pinch chilli powder
    Drizzle of olive oil

    Soften onions in sauce pan
    Add all tins and cook for 15 minutes or so
    Blatt it all down to a paste
    Add the curry powder to taste
    Top with yoghurt, pinch of chilli and olive oil.

    Then dip with pittas, naans or whatever flat bread you like.

  8. Still one of my favorites a year on..I’m always astounded how amazingly tasty and cheap your dishes are , food alchemist x

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