Living in the Middle East I have the benefit of the abundance of beautiful Arabic dips and spreads that adorn the surfaces of every buffet table in town. You can also find them freshly made in many of the supermarkets each day. I’m sure you will be very familiar with hummus. Possibly, if you’ve traveled in the Middle East or eaten at Arabic restaurants you may also have had the chance to test some of the other popular dips such as ful madammes and baba ganoush. Moutabal (an Arabic aubergine dip) is something I’ve not really seen outside of the region and it’s the spicier sister of baba ganoush. Creamy and tasty, with a slight kick, this is a beautiful dip to serve with warm pitta bread or some crunchy sliced veg.
Moutabal vs Baba Ganoush
Moutabal is very similar to baba ganoush and they are both Arabic aubergine dips. The basic ingredients are the same – aubergine, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. The difference with moutabal is that it adds some chopped chilli pepper. So if you’re like me and like a bit of spice then this is the dip for you!
How Do You Make Moutabal?
Traditionally the aubergine in the dish is roasted on an open flame. If you have a gas fire hob (or a BBQ on the go) then you can choose this method. I don’t have gas in my apartment so opted to oven roast the aubergine. The cooked aubergine is then mixed with the other ingredients. You can mash it all together with a fork, if you like a chunkier texture, or use a blender as I do.
Is Moutabal Healthy?
Moutabal is very healthy. The main ingredient being aubergine which is low in calories but dense in dietary fiber. It also contains potassium and b vitamins. The fats in the dish come from heart healthy olive oil and it contains a good helping of tahini, which is rich in antioxidants. A serving as per this recipe is around 150 calories – and it’s a fairly generous portion size. Eat it with crunchy sliced veg for an even healthier option!
Can You Freeze Moutabal?
You can freeze moutabal. While there may be a slight loss of texture, I find it barely noticeable. Freeze in containers and allow to fully defrost before serving. If it separates a little then stir well to combine.
If you’ve not tried moutabal before then I urge you to give it a go! Particularly if you are a huge fan of aubergine. It’s totally delicious and will last for a few days in the fridge.
Products that work well for this recipe
Russell Hobbs 3-in-1 Blender
Bamboo Lotus Serving Board
Cole & Mason Herb Keeper
A beautiful and simple Arabic aubergine dip with a slight spicy kick. This Moutabal is perfect served with warm pitta bread or crudites
- 500g aubergine / eggplant
- 4 tsp tahini
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 green chilli pepper – seeds removed & finely diced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tsp pomegranate seeds & pinch paprika to serve
1. Preheat oven to 200C / 400F,
2. Slice the aubergine in half and place, sliced side down, on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Place the tray in the center of the oven for 30 minutes or until tender. The flesh should feel like the skin has almost collapsed from it. Allow to cool.
3. Once cooled, peel the skins from the aubergines.
4. In a blender, combine the tahini, garlic, chilli pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and aubergine flesh. See note 1. Season well & blitz.
5. Spoon into a serving bowl and decorate with the pomegranate seeds and paprika (dip a slighly wet fork into the paprika to get those pretty decorative lines). Serve with pitta bread and / or crudites.
- If you prefer a ‘chunkier’ texture then feel free to mash the dip with a fork rather than blend.
- Calorie count does not include bread or crudites for dipping.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Sauce / Dip
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Arabic
- Calories: 150
- Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Protein: 5g
Keywords: moutabal, arabic, mezze, dip, sauce, aubergine, tahini