Baba Ganoush with Black Tahini and Lavosh crackers
This might be the world’s best-known dip after hummus, but unlike its chickpea-based cousin, baba ganoush can seem more complicated and time consuming. True, you will need a source of flames like a gas ring or barbeque to achieve that smoky flavour but giving the aubergines an aggressive roast in a very hot oven can also produce satisfying results. The typical recipe has been given a Belazu twist by adding yoghurt into the mix and saving the Black Tahini to drizzle over the top, creating a striking contrast in both colour and flavour.
For the Baba Ganoush:
5 medium aubergines
Juices from the aubergine
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed to a paste
¼tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 lemon, juiced
6tbsp plain natural yoghurt
2½tbsp Black Tahini (or more if you desire)
For the Lavosh Crackers:
135g plain flour, plus extra for dusting when rolling
1½ tbsp Early Harvest Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra to brush on to them once baked
Pinch of salt
62ml ice cold water
Pasta Maker (optional)
1tsp sumac (alternatively could use ground cumin, pepper or chilli flakes)
To make the Baba Ganoush:
- Heat an oven to 210C/Fan 190C/Gas Mark 7. Turn 2 gas burners on to full blast and place the aubergines directly over the flames. Leave them until the skin is burnt and charred then use tongs to carefully turn them to expose more skin to the flames. Keep doing this until all the aubergines are charred and until they feel soft and like they are beginning to collapse, for around 15 minutes. Now place the aubergines on a baking tray and place them in the oven for 10 minutes. This helps by making sure all the flesh is properly cooked and soft. Sometimes though, the oven stage is not necessary, but it depends on the size of the aubergines and the strength of the burners. What you do not want is any uncooked aubergine.
- Place the aubergines in a bowl and cover with a plate to allow them to steam. Whilst cooling, you can prep the garlic or make a start on the dough for the lavosh.
- Once the aubergines have cooled enough to be handled, you will need to remove the flesh. The aim is to extract as much as possible without getting too much of the burnt skin mixed into the flesh. There are many different techniques, but we suggest holding the stem of the aubergine in one hand near the stem, make a slit lengthways, then scoop the flesh out from inside starting at the top. If you make an incision near here, much of the flesh will fall out in once piece, into a bowl underneath. Using a spoon helps to scrape all the flesh right from the skin whilst also avoiding getting too much skin stuck to your fingers. Repeat with all the aubergines. Discard the skin but keep the juice left from the aubergines.
- Add the crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice, Olive Oil and yoghurt and mix together with a spoon, gently breaking the aubergine into small chunks as you go, stopping short of making it uniformly smooth and paste-like. If it looks a little thick then add some of the reserved aubergine juice. Taste it – more salt may be necessary due to the different sizes of aubergines used.
- Spoon into a serving bowl, then generously drizzle the Black Tahini over the top. Serve alongside the lavosh or if not using, warm flat breads or pitas work well.
To make the Lavosh:
- Add the flour, Olive Oil, salt and water into a bowl of a free-standing mixer. Use the dough hook attachment and mix on a medium speed for 5 mins.
- Remove from the mixer, form into a ball, wrap with clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Take a small amount of dough, roll it into a rectangular shape and dust it with flour. If using a pasta machine, set it to its thickest setting then run it through twice. Repeat this step until you have got to the thinnest setting, dusting with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. If hand rolling, roll with a rolling pin until it as thin as possible.
- Once rolled, cut to fit the size of your baking tray, then lay on a tray lined with a silicon tray or baking paper and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Preheat an oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6.
- Bake for 15 mins turning the tray halfway through, if one side is browning more quickly than the other.
- Once removed from the oven, immediately brush with Olive Oil and top generously with salt and sumac, if using, then allow to cool.