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Moutabal is a Middle Eastern and more precisely a Levantine appetizer (Eastern Mediterranean and Western Asian region), made with roasted smoky eggplants, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, yogurt salt & pepper and nothing else ! I’ve tested different ratios of ingredients and have concluded that LESS IS MORE and I’ll explain why.

Most people are familiar with Baba Ghanoush from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Armenia, Turkey and Iran and/or Melitzanosalata from Greece, often spiced with cumin and coriander seeds and less creamy because no yogurt is added. All are excellent but different in texture and appearance.

I kept preparing it and adjusting it each time, at least once per week until I felt that I got it right and to get it right, you must be ready to let the roasted and smoky eggplant flavors dominate the lemon juice and tahini sesame paste flavors and use almost no spices and I kept reducing the additions until it was just right. In the end it’s composed of 75% roasted eggplant pulp and 25% of the rest of the ingredients.

Now don’t be surprised that 4 eggplants (about 1 kg) will only yield about 300 grams after 60 minutes of roasting and several hours of straining well, but denser is better.

Adding the smoked salt during the broiling process as well as later when preparing the dip, makes it taste like you prepared the eggplants on a barbecue and straining the roasted eggplant pulp very well before incorporating it with the other ingredients, will make it thicker and the yogurt will make it a bit creamier and quite paler.

Please try this, this way, you won’t regret it ! … :)

«moutabal» roasted eggplant dip


400 grams or 1 ¾ cups


dip :

  • 1 kg (4 small) eggplants, whole, washed and pierced 
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) olive oil
  • 10 grams (2 medium cloves or 2 tsp) garlic, crushed
  • 30 grams (2 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 45 grams (3 tbsp) strained greek yogurt
  • 30 grams (2 tbsp) sesame tahini
  • 7,5 grams (1 ½ tsp) smoked salt
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground black pepper

garnish :

  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 gram (½ tbsp) flat-leaf-parsley, chopped
  • 0,25 gram (¼ tsp) lemon zests, long thin strands
  • 2 grams (½ tsp) toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) whole pink peppercorns (or 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds)


  • preheat the oven to 230°C with the rack in the middle or towards the top (depending on your oven space) and cover a baking dish with baking paper
  • pierce each eggplant at least 20 times with a thin skewer and rub with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp smoked salt and broil for 60 minutes, turning them by ¼ each 15 minutes until all sides are charred and the eggplants have collapsed
  • remove them from the oven, wrap them in aluminum foil and let them cool down completely (they will weigh 600 grams)
  • scrape the flesh or pulp from the skins, discard the skins, mix with an additional ½ tsp of smoked slat, mix well and place in strainer with a fine mesh or a cheesecloth and let strain for several hours until the mixture releases at least 60-90 ml of extra liquid (to be discarded) and the strained flesh will weigh 300 grams
  • transfer the denser mixture to a bowl, mash with a fork or use a food-processor, mix the crushed garlic with the lemon juice and pepper and add to the eggplant, then add the yogurt and mix and finally the tahini and mix again
  • adjust to your taste and chill 
  • serve, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, some lemon zests, parsley leaves, sesame seeds and pink peppercorns (my favorite) or pomegranate seeds which are more traditional and accompanied with breadsticks or pita breads.