Saturday, June 24, 2017
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Recipe: Easy babaganoush

I’m a big fan of Lebanese food, and when I lived in Australia we often served Middle- Eastern style dips with pre-dinner drinks. One of my favourite dips is babaganoush, and as aubergines ( eggplants) are easy to find in the market, this is one Middle Eastern food I can recreate at home. Traditionally, babaganoush is made using tahini, which isn’t so easy to find in Myanmar, so I’ve adapted the recipe so it can be made without. The secret to this dip is a smoky aroma and flavour, and both recipes are firm favourites in our family. But aubergines don’t just make great dips – they also work well with other dishes. This aubergine green curry recipe is one of my favourites.

Photo: PhyoPhoto: Phyo

Traditional babaganoush
1 large aubergine (eggplant)
3 cloves garlic
Salt
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
Paprika and olive oil (for garnish)

Grill the aubergine over the flame of a gas stove or grill, turning from time to time. When it is cooked through (the skin should be burnt and blackened and the inside soft), wrap or cover with foil on a tray for 5-8 minutes. Peel the skin and cut off the top.

Mash the peeled aubergine using a fork. Crush the garlic and add to the mashed aubergine with roughly the same amount of salt. Mix well to combine.

Combine the tahini and lemon juice in a bowl and pour over the aubergine. Stir, ensuring all of the ingredients are mixed well.

Garnish with olive oil and paprika and serve with bread, chapatti or roti.

If you don’t have tahini, leave it out of the recipe and follow the other instructions as above. This version works well as an accompaniment to grilled meat.

Chicken and aubergine green curry

1 large aubergine

300g chicken mince

2 medium red onions

2-3 tablespoons green curry paste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1- 2 teaspoons fish sauce

Grill the aubergine over the flame of a gas stove or grill, turning from time to time. When it is cooked through (the skin should be burnt and blackened and the inside soft), wrap or cover with foil on a tray for 5-8 minutes. Peel the skin and cut off the top.

Mash the peeled aubergine using a fork.

Peel and slice the onions thinly. Pat the chicken with kitchen paper to absorb the excess water, and mix the mince with the green curry paste. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

Add the vegetable oil to a wok and heat over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chicken and fry until the chicken is well cooked.

Next, add the aubergine to the wok and combine with the mince. Add fish sauce to taste (the amount of fish paste may need to be adjusted as some green curry pastes are already salty). Fry for 1-2 more minutes, stirring continuously to ensure the ingredients are well mixed.

Serve with rice.