Remixing the Ultimate Levantine Appetizer, Mutabbal

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muttabbal
Photo: Courtesy of Leen Al Zaben

Known by some as baba ganoush, this dish is a staple of Middle Eastern diets, especially during Ramadan. Here, Leen Al Zaben of Culeenary.com tackles the traditional Arabic dish and updates it for the modern day with a sweet pomegranate twist.

 

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Serves 4 20 Minutes
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    • 2 large eggplants, sliced into 1.5 cm circles
    • 90ml tahini paste
    • 60ml water
    • 30ml pomegranate molasses, plus more for garnish
    • 30ml lemon juice
    • 80ml yoghurt
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into 1 cm circles
    • 2 tbsp chopped parsley, dill, or cilantro (depending on your mood)
    • 4 tbsp pomegranate arils
    • sea salt flakes
    • freshly ground black pepper
  • Step 1

    Wash the eggplants and slice them into 1.5 cm circles before placing them in a colander. Sprinkle with some sea salt and lightly toss to coat. Let them stand for 20 minutes to drain while you heat your griddle or pan on a stovetop.

  • Step 2

    While you wait for the eggplants to be drained, combine the tahini, water, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and garlic, and mix well into a sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Step 2
  • Step 3

    Slice the tomatoes and chop the herb you’ve chosen. You can even mix the herbs together.

  • Step 4

    Once the eggplants have been drained, place them on the grill. Grill each side for approximately five to seven minutes or until cooked and slightly charred (you can tell by the appearance of grill marks on the skin). Let them cool for five minutes.

    Step 4
  • Step 5

    Once cooled, begin assembling your mutabbal tower. Start with one slice of eggplant followed by a slice of tomato. Add a tablespoon of the tahini sauce on top. Repeat. Add one last slice of eggplant to complete the tower followed by a tablespoon of the tahini sauce.

  • Step 6

    Next, add a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and some pomegranate arils, and sprinkle with the chopped herbs. Repeat the process, building new mutabbal towers until you run out of eggplants or sauce. You can enjoy this meal on it’s own (hey, it’s gluten-free!) or with some warm Arabic bread on the side.

    Step 6
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