• متبل •
This 5-ingredient eggplant dish is quick to put together and is a crowd pleaser. Once the eggplant is cooked, it can be made in less than 10 minutes and is great served with bread or chips.
Mtabbal is an eggplant spread or dip that’s especially popular in the Levantine countries of the Middle East. You probably already know baba ghanouj, another Middle Eastern eggplant spread. Even in some places in the Middle East, mtabbal is confusingly known as baba ghanouj. In addition to having a much funnier sounding name, baba ghanouj is different than mtabbal in that it includes chopped vegetables. Mtabbal is much simpler; it’s almost like making hummus out of eggplant.
The pomegranate molasses is a real must in this recipe. When drizzled liberally on top of the mtabbal, this tangy, sweet syrup adds a mouthwatering contrast of flavor. Other traditional garnishes are pomegranate seeds, chopped parsley, sumac, or chopped chile peppers. Serve it with pita bread, tortilla or potato chips, or vegetable crudités.
I love Middle Eastern food and likewise especially love foods that can serve a crowd. If you agree, why not make a bountiful Middle Eastern mezze platter for your next get-together by making this mtabbal, along with my hummus, mhammara, and tabbouleh!
- 2-2½ cups cooked, chopped eggplant (about 3 large eggplants)
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 Tablespoons tahini
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced fine
- sea salt to taste (start with about ¾ teaspoon then taste test)
- pomegranate molasses and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on top
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Poke each eggplant with a knife, arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place into hot oven. Bake the eggplants for about 40 minutes or until their skins char and the eggplants are fully cooked. They will look deflated. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool.
- When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, remove the flesh from the skins. If the eggplants have hard seeds, try to remove as much of them as possible. If they are soft, unnoticeable seeds, don't worry about removing them. Gather all of the eggplant pulp and chop it into very small pieces. A large knife makes quick work of this. I like it to be smooth but not super silky smooth, so using a knife allows you to get the right texture.
- Mix together the chopped eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt. When the mixture is well combined, spread the mtabbal onto a shallow plate and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate molasses. Garnish with parsley, pomegranate seeds, sumac, or chile peppers.
-You can find pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern or Turkish markets. Sometimes you can find it at natural food stores.