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Recipe for impromptu moutabal

My homemade moutabal

Moutabal? For some it’s just baba ghanoush by another name; for others it’s more like hummus but made with aubergine instead of chickpeas. I’m more inclined to the latter, and I made some last Sunday evening just for the heck of it. You should too. You will need:

  • 1 large aubergine
  • Fresh garlic
  • Salt
  • Tahini
  • Lemon juice
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • A blender

Start by turning the aubergine over a gas hob till the skin is burnt black and it’s all shrunken like a prune. If you don’t have a gas hob (we don’t) then stick it under a hot grill, turning occasionally; it shouldn’t take longer than half an hour.

Next you’ll want to plunge the burnt aubergine into a bowl of cold water for a few seconds before you peel off the skin and chuck all the nice flesh from inside into a blender. You can leave that to cool a bit while you crush some garlic (2 big cloves should be enough) into a paste with some salt (it’s up to you how much, really).

Add the garlic/salt paste to the aubergine flesh in the blender with 4 tablespoons of tahini (we use the stuff from the big tubs you can get in Asian shops), 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (you can use fresh lemon for this but I used the stuff from the bottle) and a few dashes of pomegranate molasses (if you don’t have any, an extra teaspoon of lemon juice should do it).

That’s all the ingredients accounted for (you can add another spice if you wish, like some toasted cumin, but this is what I did). Now just blend till you get a smooth mousse, and add more salt to taste if needed. Job done. Eat it straight away while it’s still warm or stick it in the fridge for later; when it’s chilled it takes on a stiffer consistency but doesn’t sacrifice the smoky flavour.

This recipe should get you about 300g of moutabal that you can keep in an airtight tub in the fridge for a couple of days, if it lasts that long.