Photo: Luisa Brimble
By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food
Half Korean and half Egyptian Chef Amina El Shafei first rose to prominence during 2012’s series of Masterchef Australia, having become hugely popular for her unique blend of the two strikingly different national cuisines that she grew up with. Since then, amongst other endeavours, the Chef has recently published her own cookbook – Amina’s Home Cooking – that is filled with accessible Korean and Egyptian recipes made for the home kitchen. So to tie in with the launch, this week’s recipe is for Amina’s take on the perfect Baba Ghanoush.
“This is my family’s favourite dip. It is important to cook the eggplant over an open flame to ensure you get the smoky flavour achieved by charring the skin – otherwise the eggplant flesh will be flavourless. This dip is especially delicious with roast or barbecued lamb. If you are having a barbecue, cook the eggplants before the meat; that way, you can complete the dip by the time the meat is cooked. Always use large eggplants; they have a lot more flesh and are much easier to skin than small ones.”
Makes about 2 cups (560 g)
Large aubergines (eggplant), 3
Olive oil, 60 ml
Lemon juice, 125 ml
Flat-leaf parsley, 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Flatbread, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Use a sharp knife to cut deep slits into the eggplants. Using tongs, place the eggplants over an open flame, turning every few minutes until the skin blackens and blisters – about 6–8 minutes.
Place the charred eggplants on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the flesh is soft. If you are using a barbecue, place the eggplants over medium heat, turning every few minutes until they are cooked through and soft.
Cover the eggplants tightly with plastic film and leave to cool to room temperature. As soon as the eggplants are cool, carefully peel away the skins.
Place the peeled eggplant, olive oil, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. Mix in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Serve with flatbread.
This dip can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Recipe from Amina’s Home Cooking by Amina Elshafei (Lantern, £16.99).