My Roasted Eggplant Yogurt Dip is a welcome twist on traditional baba ghanoush. Also known as moutabal, this delectable dip has Greek yogurt or labneh added for creaminess and tang. The roasted garlic, tahini, and a pomegranate mint garnish take it to another level.
A couple of weeks ago, a reader asked me if I knew of a roasted eggplant dip with labneh added to it. I had eaten something similar on a trip to Jordan, when we visited Petra, but I couldn’t remember the name. After some research, I came up with moutabal – which is really just another way of saying baba ghanoush. It’s a simple twist on the baba ghanoush concept, with labneh or Greek yogurt added for a creamy tang.
In my version of this popular condiment, I flame roast the eggplant for a rich, smoky flavor. For more detailed instructions on roasting, refer to my How to Roast Eggplant post here. I also pan roast the garlic, which softens it and makes it easier to digest. Roasting adds a subtle sweetness to the garlic cloves and makes the dip particularly luscious.
This recipe tastes especially great when made with homemade labneh. Learn how to make labneh or Greek-style yogurt here.
Once you get a feel for how the flavors come together, you can easily adjust the salt or lemon juice to taste. It’s a simple recipe that looks so beautiful on the table, especially with a fresh garnish of pomegranate arils and mint.
Roasted Eggplant Yogurt Dip - Moutabal
- 2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound each
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or labneh
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils, optional, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, optional, for garnish
- Pierce the eggplants in a few places with a knife or fork to vent. Roast them on a gas stovetop or in the oven, giving a quarter turn every few minutes, until eggplants are charred, soft and collapsing. Flame roasting on a range or grill preferred for optimal flavor. For more detailed instructions on this process, refer to my post - How to Roast Eggplant.While eggplant is roasting, pour olive oil into small saucepan or skillet and add garlic cloves. Heat the olive oil on medium for 2-3 minutes, watching carefully the whole time, until it just begins to sizzle around the cloves. Don't let them sizzle too long or you'll start to fry the cloves.
- Reduce heat immediately to between low and medium low. Stir well to coat the garlic cloves in hot oil. Let the garlic cook slowly for 20-30 minutes, stirring and flipping the cloves every few minutes, until the cloves are soft, tender and golden.Remove cloves from the oil with a slotted spoon. Allow the oil to cool. Reserve the garlic-infused oil. Mince the roasted garlic cloves very fine.
- When eggplants are fully roasted, remove from flame. Carefully slice them open (hot steam will escape) and allow them to cool down.
- When the eggplants are cool enough to touch, scoop the soft pulpy eggplant flesh from the skin and add it to a mixing bowl. Try to remove all of the pulp from the skin. If a little charred skin makes it into the pulp, it's fine-- it will add to the smoky flavor.
- Remove any large clumps of seeds from the pulp. A few small seed pockets are fine, but larger ones can make for a lumpy texture.
- To the roasted eggplant pulp, add the minced roasted garlic, 2 tbsp of the garlic-infused olive oil, Greek yogurt or labneh, tahini, lemon juice, and salt.
- Use a fork to mash and stir the mixture until it is creamy and well-mixed. Do not use a food processor or immersion blender for this step, or you will end up with an undesirable texture. At this point you may taste and add additional salt or lemon juice to taste, if desired.
- Use a spoon to make a well in the dip, and drizzle the remaining garlic-infused olive oil on top. Serve dip at room temperature or chilled, garnished with pomegranate arils and fresh mint. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
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