Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian Food’

My Sugar Daddy – Babaghanouj

October 5th, 2009 Leave a reply »

Babaghanouj (in Arabic: baba = “daddy” ghanouj = “the one who spoils”, also spelled baba ghanouj, baba ghanoush, baba ghannoug) is a sibling of Hummus in the Mezza Family: they often come together. But this time, babaghanouj is most commonly served with one topping, fresh mint.
Estimated time: 30-40min
Servings: 4

Lebanese Seven Spices

Ingredients: 2 large dark-purple eggplants (the darker the color, the better), 4 to 5 tablespoons or 50g of tahini (aka. sesame seed paste), ½ lemon, 1 garlic clove, olive oil, salt, ½ teaspoon of cumin (optional)


1. Poke holes in the 2 eggplants with a fork
2. Place the eggplants on the grill, in the oven at 400F, or over a gas flame. After 15min, one side should be well cooked and the flesh very tender. Turn over the eggplants and let them grill on all sides for 10min. After 30min, if the eggplants are not soft enough, keep on heating them until the skin is easy to peel off
3. Peel the eggplants under a cold tap and discard the skin. Remove the heads and cut them in half. Allow the eggplants to cool to room temperature
4. Then slice each half into 5 long strings and remove all of the seeds you can find (many are hidden in the flesh)
5. Place the pieces of eggplant into a food processor with salt and 1 garlic clove chopped into small pieces. Whizz the mixture into a smooth purée
6. Press ½ lemon and add the juice to the mixture; add 4 tablespoons of tahini; and finally add ½ teaspoon of ground cumin (optional); process the mixture

Taste – If the mixture is too liquid, add a little bit of tahini, but be careful not to overdo the tahini; you only need a little to bring out the flavor of the eggplants. **What to look for when you taste?** Make sure you taste the lemon juice & eggplant. Charring the eggplants on a gas flame or charcoal grill gives the baghanouj a distinctive smoky flavor.

7.  Transfer the mixture into a small plate or shallow bowl and garnish with fresh mint (whole or chopped leaves)


The Finale: drizzle over olive oil and eat with Arabic/pita bread.


** Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the recipe

The Secret of Hummus

September 27th, 2009 Leave a reply »

Hummus (also spelled humus, hommus, hummos, hummous) is a basic dish in Lebanese Mezza. You will most likely be served hummus as an appetizer at every local restaurant you go to in Lebanon. And it comes with all different toppings: grilled pine nuts, olives, roasted garlic. But there are ingredients to this terrific dish and here they are.
Estimated time: 20min
Servings: 4


Ingredients: 1 can of garbanzo beans (about 400g), 5 to 6 tablespoons of tahini (aka. sesame seed paste), 1/2 lemon, 2 garlic cloves, olive oil, salt

If you do not have access to fresh, uncooked chickpeas (aka. garbanzo beans), which is probably your case unless you live in the Middle East:
1. Place 1 can of prepared garbanzo beans in a pan. Add water to cover the beans. Bring to boil. You can find garbanzo bean cans at most supermarkets
2. Boil the beans for 10-15 minutes until soft. Drain the beans but keep the water used to cook them (you will need about 1/4 cup of water)
3. Transfer the beans into a food processor. Then add salt, 2 garlic cloves chopped into small pieces, and the ¼ cup of water used to cook the beans. Whizz the mixture into a smooth purée.
4. Press 1/2 lemon and add the juice to the mixture
5. Add 5 to 6 tablespoons of tahini and process the mixture again

Taste – if the mixture is too thick, add a little bit of water or lemon juice. If the mixture is too liquid, add a little bit of tahini, but do not worry: putting the hummus in the fridge will thicken it. **What to look for when you taste?** Make sure you taste the tahini, lemon juice & salt. The hummus shouldn’t be bland.

6. Transfer the hummus into a small plate or shallow bowl.

Garnish (any of the following):
- paprika
- cumin
- pine nuts (grilled/fried in a little bit of vegetable oil)
- garbanzo beans – if you remembered to keep some on the side
- chopped  olives
- garlic (fried in a little bit of vegetable oil)
- chopped sun dried tomatoes
- sliced radish

The Finale: drizzle over a generous amount of olive oil and eat with Arabic/pita bread.

Also check out these Nutritional Facts about Humus