Tomatoey baba ghanoush, 30p (VEGAN)

Baba ghanoush is a popular Middle Eastern dish, often served as a dip with flatbreads or pitta. I sometimes add cooked chickpeas to mine for a simple, flavoursome supper, 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. For the accompanying toasted pittas, slice pitta breads through the middle then cut into triangles, brush with a little oil and pop under the grill for 4 to 5 minutes until crispy.
 Serves 4 as a snack at 30p each

1 large aubergine, 70p

1 fat clove of garlic, 2p (35p/2 bulbs, Basics)

1 tablespoon oil, 2p (£3/3l)

A pinch of cumin, seeds or ground, <1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC brand)

 juice and zest of ½ a lemon or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice, 3p (55p/250ml)

 1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes, 35p (35p/100g)

A couple of stems of fresh coriander, 8p (80p/28g bunch)
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 a low open flame for 10 minutes, turning to char the skin on all sides – this is where the flavour starts to kick in…

 When the skin is starting to blacken and blister, carefully remove the aubergine from the heat. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before handling, then cut the aubergine in half. Spoon the flesh from the skin into a small non-stick saucepan or frying pan. 

Peel and crush the garlic, or chop very finely, and add to the aubergine along with the cumin. Soften on a low heat for a few minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and cook until heated through. If you have a small powerful blender, sling the lot in with the charred aubergine skin and pulse for a moment for a deeper, intense flavour. 

Finely chop the coriander and stir through just before serving. Finish with the oil and lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.

Jack Monroe.

Twitter: @BootstrapCook

Instagram: @MxJackMonroe

This recipe first appeared in my cookbook, A Girl Called Jack, available here. Photo by Susan Bell.



  1. Oh! This looks delicious. I have all the ingredients in stock so guess what I’m making tomorrow. Well done Jack, thanks for sharing x

  2. any ideas on how well this travels? (if I want to cook it at home, and take it in a box for lunch, and heat it up in a microwave?)

    Love the recipes.. btw.. you always do stuff that I wouldn’t have thought of doing…

  3. You are an absolute legend Jack. Thank you for ask the time and trouble you take to share your wonderful recipes 👍🏻💛

  4. Thank you for all these inspiring recipes! Heard on Twitter about the horrible comments that sometimes hit your filters here. So sorry. 😦 Thank you for persevering.

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