Moutabal or moutabel, but not Baba Ganoush ?. Yes, for many it’s confusing mainly because they’re both eggplant based dips and they both come from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean areas. So, let’s clarify: the main difference between these two delicious spreads is tahini. Moutabal is made with tahini, while in baba ganoush you’ll find other ingredients, like tomatoes, pomegranate molasses, onions and some spices. Some moutabal recipes include thick yogurt (labneh), but today we’ll have vegan moutabal ?.
Moutabal is one of the easiest things one can do in the kitchen. Although I’m an “explorer” and I don’t say “no” when it comes to complicated recipes, I love it when I can have something really tasty, but very quickly to make and with just a few ingredients.
Vegan moutabal ingredients
As mentioned, just a few ingredients ?:
- eggplant – no matter what people say, roasted eggplant taste doesn’t compare to anything; and roasting the eggplants directly on the flame is the traditional way to make this eggplant spread;
- tahini – make sure you use good quality tahini; this recipe doesn’t call for many ingredients and a bitter tahini will definitely change your moutabal’s taste;
- garlic – make it as garlicky as you like; you can also bake the garlic for an even smokier taste;
- lemon juice – to cut down a bit the “heaviness” of the dish; use fresh juice;
- optional, for garnishing – I used roasted walnuts, olive oil and a little bit of sumac, but there are other good options like smoked paprika, chopped parsley or red chili flakes.
How to make moutabal
Roasting the eggplant will be the only actual “making” here. Or, better said, removing the charred eggplant skin, which can be a bit messy. As mentioned earlier, it’s much better if you can prepare the eggplants directly on the flame to give this dish its specific smokiness. But if cooking the aubergines directly on the flame is not an option, roasting them in the oven works fine too.
After the eggplants are cooked, put them in a bowl, sprinkle some salt, cover with a lit and allow them to rest for 15 minutes. This will help removing the charred skin easier.
After the “hard-work” is done, transfer the eggplants to a sieve and let them drain for 10 minutes.
Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get the desired texture. And you’re done ?!
How to serve moutabal
This dip is never missed from any mezze platter. You’ll spot it among other bowls with creamy hummus, baba ganoush, muhammara and tabbouleh. And they’re always accompanied by flat bread and fresh veggies.
How to store moutabal
You can keep it in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container. I don’t recommend freezing it, but you can freeze the roasted eggplants instead for a few months.
If you liked this recipe, leave a comment below. Your feedback is important to me ?.
Vegan Moutabal | Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- olive oil
- roasted walnuts
- Roast the eggplants either on open flame, on a grill or in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until skins are completely charred and flash collapses; transfer them in a bowl, sprinkle over some salt and covered with a lid; allow them to rest for 10 minutes;
- Remove the charred skin and transfer to a sieve; let them drain for 10 minutes;
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get the texture that you like;
- Transfer the dip to a bowl, garnish it and serve with pita bread and fresh vegetables.
- Roast the garlic too for a smokier flavor.
- Remove the eggplant seeds if you want a smoother spread.
- You can use frozen roasted eggplant.