Baba ghanoush

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Baba ghanoush
Baba ganoush closeup.jpg
Course Appetizer
Place of origin Levant
Associated national cuisine Armenia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey
Main ingredients Eggplant, olive oil
Cookbook: Baba ghanoush  Media: Baba ghanoush

Baba ghanoush[1] (Arabic: بابا غنوج‎‎ bābā ghannūj, also appears as baba ganoush[2] or baba ghanouj[3]) is a Levantine dish of cooked eggplant mixed with tahina (made from sesame seeds), olive oil and various seasonings.[1][3] The Arabic bābā means "father", while ghannūj could be a personal name.[2] The word combination is also interpreted as "father of coquetry" or "indulged/pampered daddy."[3]

The traditional preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste.[4] It is a typical meze (starter), often eaten as a dip with khubz or pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is popular in the Levant (area covering Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Syria) as well as in Egypt, Kurdistan, Iran and Armenia.

Similar to baba ghanoush is another Levantine dish, mutabbal (Arabic: متبل‎‎ lit. 'spiced'), which also includes mashed cooked eggplant (aubergine) and tahini, and mixed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and anar seeds. Mutabbal is sometimes said to be a spicier version of baba ghanoush.

Baba ganoush and pita.jpg
Mutabbal and pita bread
Course Appetizer
Place of origin Middle East
Main ingredients Eggplant, olive oil
Cookbook: Mutabbal  Media: Mutabbal


A variety of this dish is commonly known as patlıcan salatası ("eggplant salad") in Turkey.[5] It is typically made with mashed eggplants, although varieties with cut eggplants can be found in southern Turkey. In regions with Arab-speaking populations it is also known as abugannuş or abugannuc.

In Israel, it is also known as salat ḥatzilim although a variation with that name made with mayonnaise instead of tahina is also widely available.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Baba ghanoush". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 
  2. ^ a b "Baba ganoush". Oxfort English Dictionary. 
  3. ^ a b c Gil Marks (2010). "Baba Ghanouj". Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  4. ^ Khayat, Marie Karam; Keatinge, Margaret Clark. Food from the Arab World, Khayats, Beirut, Lebanon.
  5. ^ Nicolas Trépanier (30 November 2014). Foodways and Daily Life in Medieval Anatolia: A New Social History. University of Texas Press. pp. 129–. ISBN 978-0-292-75929-9. 
  6. ^ Levy, F. Feast from the Mideast (2003) p.41.