Mutabal or Baba Ghanoush متبل

The well-known name for this dish is perhaps baba ghanoush which is more of a Lebanese name. In Palestine, it is famous for mutabal. This dish has gotten to be more of an international dish and well known in different parts of the world. You may call it hummus’ cousin since both dishes have almost the same ingredients, the only main difference is that eggplant is the dominating ingredient in mutabal versus chickpeas in hummus. This dish is mainly served as part of a Mediterranean Mezza.

Mutabal comes from the Arabic verb tabal, which means adding (tawabel) spices to the food to make it tastier.

The ingredients are simple and it’s a very easy dish to prepare, and just so you know mutabal doesn’t need too much of tahini sauce like hummus, a little of tahini with the rest of the ingredients can make this dish so delicious. However, it does take a good amount of fresh lemon juice.

So here is how I make mutabal:

Start by grilling the eggplants. Turn broiler on, broil eggplant in one piece, only cut few slits through the eggplant skin, place it on a baking sheet and broil for about 30-40 minutes, then flip to the other side for another 15 minutes. Make sure that the inside is very soft. The old way method as my mother used to do is to place the eggplants on the top of the stove, this method works better with a gas stove, let it grill over the direct flame and then switch to all sides. I usually broil them using my toaster oven. However, some may argue which I agree that the direct flame adds an extra flavor to this dish. But the roaster oven works just fine.

Peel skin out once eggplants cooled off.

Once skin is peeled off, smash eggplants with a fork or a potatoes smasher, I’ve seen some recipes were people place the eggplants in the blender, I honestly prefer the fork, mutabal is not supposed to be too soft like hummus, it needs to be a bit chunky or at least that’s the way I grew up eating it, I feel if it’s blended and creamy it will lose its texture and becomes more like hummus, so I do really love the texture of the mutabal using this method. And once grilled it’ll become super soft, so it won’t take much effort to smash it with a fork. Then I add to it lemon, salt, crushed garlic, and tahini sauce. As I mentioned earlier it may not need a lot of tahini but it certainly needs a lot of lemons.

This recipe is enough for 2 people.

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Mutabal or Baba Ghanoush متبل

  • Author: Wafa Shami


  • 2 small eggplants or 1 large one
  • 1/4 cup tahini sauce
  • 12 fresh lemon juice
  • salt


  1. Cut a few slits in eggplant then place it on a baking sheet under the broiler and keep it for about 30-40 minutes.
  2. Flip to the other side for another 15 minutes and until the eggplants look very soft inside. 
  3. Peel skin once it’s cooled off.
  4. Smash eggplants with a fork until it looks chunkier pasty.
  5. Add tahini sauce, crushed garlic, lemon juice, and salt and mix everything well together.
  7. Drizzle some extra virgin olive and serve as a dip or appetizer.

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