Keto Baba Ganoush: Roasted Eggplant Dip
Eggplant. Dip. Two of my favorite things. This keto baba ganoush is one of my most-loved dishes; with it’s rich, creamy texture and aroma that fills our house. If you’re unfamiliar with this dish, put it at the top of your list!
What is Baba Ganoush?
Baba ganoush is a dip that is made from smoked eggplant (aubergine) that has been roasted and mixed with other ingredients such as tahini (roast seasame seed paste), lemon, olive oil and seasonings. It is a typical mezze dish; a starter or appetizer which can also be eaten at breakfast. It is commonly used for dipping (especially with flat bread) or is added to other dishes.
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Where is Baba Ganoush from?
Baba ganoush is a Levantine dish, which is a widespread staple across the Middle East and North Africa. It is an especially popular dish during Ramadan, ideal for breaking fast.
What are the ingredients for Keto Baba Ganoush?
Eggplant (aubergine) is the most essential ingredient for baba ganoush which is happily a keto staple; sitting at the lower end of the carb scale. It is prepared by blackening the eggplant over an open flame, but can also be achieved by grilling if this isn’t an option. A little fun fact: did you know that eggplant is actually a fruit?
The next most important thing to consider when making a keto baba ganoush is the balance of flavors. The additional ingredients; such as garlic, lemon juice and tahini can overpower the dish, so need to be balanced for a rich, creamy dip with a smoky flavor.
Finally, baba ganoush is especially yummy when served with toppings; such as a sprinkle of za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mix), fresh herbs or some good quality olive oil.
Keto Baba Ganoush
- 3 medium eggplants (aubergines)
- 2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup light tahini
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground chili powder
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped (extra for garnish)
- 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (extra for garnish)
- 1 pinch zata’ar (for garnish)
Start by cooking the eggplants. There are two ways to achieve this.
Option 1: Pierce eggplants a few times with a fork for ventilation. Grill whole eggplants over an open flame, either directly on a gas cooktop or barbeque. Cook for 20-30 minutes on medium-high heat, rotating slightly every 5 minutes or so. The eggplant will start to collapse; aim to blacken the skin, cook the insides and and achieve a smoky aroma.
Option 2: Bake the eggplants in the oven. Halve the eggplants lengthways, place face down on a tray lined with foil or baking paper and prick the skin using a fork. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 220°C / 450°F until the insides are very soft. Remove from oven.
Once the eggplants are cooked, scoop out the flesh (or peel off the skin) and discard the skins and stems. You can drain this eggplant flesh in a colander to remove excess liquid and achieve a creamier dip.
Place the eggplant in a food processor (this one is my favorite kitchen item!) and blend to your desired consistency. You can leave it chunky or blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
In the bowl, add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, chili powder, parsley and salt. Mix with a fork until incorporated.
Slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture, until the mixture is pale and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Place into a serving dish and garnish with remaining olive oil, chopped parsley and zata’ar. Enjoy as a dip with cut vegetables or keto crackers or bread; or add to dishes such as salad bowls. The dip will keep covered in the refrigerator for several days.