Baba ghanoush

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Baba ghanoush
Baba ganoush closeup.jpg
Place of originLevant
Associated national cuisineIraq, Armenia,[1] Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, and Turkey
Main ingredientsEggplant, olive oil

Baba ghanoush (UK: /ˌbɑːbə ɡæˈnʃ/, US: /- ɡəˈnʃ, - ɡəˈnʒ/;[2][3][4] Arabic: بابا غنوج‎, romanizedbābā ġannūj), also spelled baba ganoush or baba ghanouj,[2][3][4][5] is a Levantine appetizer of mashed cooked eggplant mixed with tahini (made from sesame seeds), olive oil and various seasonings.[4][5]

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.[6][page needed] It is a typical meze (starter), often eaten as a dip with pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes.[5]


The bābā is an Arabic word that means "father" and is also a term of endearment, while ġannūj could be a personal name.[3] The word combination is also interpreted as "father of coquetry" or "indulged/pampered/flirtatious daddy" or "spoiled old daddy".[2][5][7] It is not certain whether the word bābā refers to the eggplant or to an actual person indulged by the dish.[8]

Baba ganoush and pita.jpg
Mutabbal and pita bread
Place of originLevant
Main ingredientsEggplant, olive oil


The Persian Gulf versions vary slightly from that of its home of origin by spicing it with coriander and cumin.[7]

In Israel, it is also known as salat ḥatzilim, although a variation with that name made with mayonnaise instead of tahini is also widely available.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "baba ghanouj". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "baba ghanouj" (US) and "baba ganoush". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Baba ghanoush". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Gil Marks (2010). "Baba Ghanouj". Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  6. ^ Khayat, Marie Karam; Keatinge, Margaret Clark. Food from the Arab World, Khayats, Beirut, Lebanon.
  7. ^ a b Salloum, Habeeb (2012-02-28). The Arabian Nights Cookbook: From Lamb Kebabs to Baba Ghanouj, Delicious Homestyle Arabian Cooking. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462905249.
  8. ^ Marks, Gil (2010-11-17). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0544186311.
  9. ^ Levy, F. Feast from the Mideast (2003) p.41.