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Dips – Humous and Baba ghanoush

I love both these Middle Eastern and Arabic dips which are beautiful as starters or as part of a main meal. They have saved me from supermarket excursions, served as a starter many times for friends/family, satisfied as a late night snack and always feel special even though they are so simple to make. Both are very versatile, I’ve only recently started spreading them on toast, sometimes with egg, sometimes with dukkah, avocado and roasted tomatoes.

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As dips I serve these with olives, caramelised onions, dukkah and homemade flatbreads or warm pitas but also love them with grilled chicken, lamb or falafel – be experimental.

I like to fry haloumi and lay over baba ghanoush then sprinkle over toasted pine nuts, parsley or coriander and pomegranate seeds (if available). The pomegranate molasses and olive oil dressing is a real delight as a dressing. Sometimes I will fry haloumi with thyme and honey and just have this as a separate dish which goes well with both dips.

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You’ll need a hand blender or food processor for both recipes but as for the measures – go with your instinct, just keep tasting and tweaking. I add cumin occasionally but sometimes I rather humous plain and simple finished off with a dribble of good olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

If you want to serve with flatbreads…..follow link below

http://thetravellingpantry.com/2014/05/19/easy-no-knead-flatbreads/

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Humous – Makes enough for a dip for 2-4 (easily doubled)

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • Juice of ½ – 1 whole lemon
  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprinkle of cumin (about ¼ tsp) – if you fancy
  • Sprinkle of cayenne and a dribble of oil to garnish

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix with a hand blender or blitz in a food processor. Add seasoning, test the consistency and blend until you have it how you like. It may need a dash more oil, or lemon juice.

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Baba ghanoush – Makes enough for 2-4 as a dip

  • 1 Aubergine/Eggplant
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • About 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Garnishes

  • 200g haloumi, sliced
  • Handful of flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 6 mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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Baba ghanoush

Heat oven to 210°C. Hold aubergine/eggplant over a naked flame – I used tongs to hold it over a gas flame until the skin blistered all over and it became very soft. This take about 5-10 minutes.

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Now, lightly brush with about 1 tsp of olive oil, place on an oven tray and bake for 20 minutes, until extremely soft. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

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Peel off the skin (I used 2 spoons). Scoop out the middle and add to a bowl (if hand blending) or your food processor with the rest of the ingredients (tahini, garlic, yoghurt, lemon juice and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil). Season and blitz until you have a smooth consistency.

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Spread dip on a plate, fry haloumi slices in 1 tbsp oil until nicely golden and place on top of your baba ghanoush. Garnish with parsley, mint and pine nuts.

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Make your dressing by whisking together the pomegranate molasses and oil and drizzle over the plate on top of everything. Scatter with pomegranate seeds, if you have them. I also sprinkled over sugared rose petals, which smell like Turkish delight!

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5 replies »

  1. Thanks, with the humous I’d like to experiment with basil and other herbs – squash is also a good one to try – but you can’t beat the good old basic recipe to knock up in times of trouble!

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