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Eat for Good Recipes - Moutabel

Eggplant is still in season through October. Check out this recipe for Moutabel, a dish similar to Baba Ganoush, from Oxfam’s Refugee Campaigns Advisor Isra Chaker, which can be made with the last of the season’s eggplant.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants 
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 3 oz. plain yogurt 
  • 1–2 teaspoons of salt or to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1 ½ tablespoons pomegranate paste (optional) 
For garnish:
  • Paprika
  • Sweet red peppers
  • Parsley
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Walnuts
Instructions 
Place eggplants on skewers and grill over an open flame, or, for a slightly more mellow flavor, place in grill. The skin will blacken and wither with the heat. Turn until the skin is soft to the touch and a skewer can easily cut through the vegetables. You can also deep or shallow fry your eggplants until golden. If you do use this method, you do not get that smoky taste which is so typical of this dish. 
 
As soon as this happens, take them off the flame and put them in a pot filled with cold water. This will help to cool the eggplants and make them easier to peel. Peel the eggplants. You may find that it helps to peel them under cold running water. Discard the burnt skin, and put the pulp in a strainer. If you can, leave the pulp overnight in the fridge. This will ensure that the excess water is removed. 
 
Cut the eggplants into small pieces and then pound to a rough pulp. Incorporate the tahini into the mixture. Adding yogurt is optional, it will balance out the bitterness, but if you like that bitter taste, skip the yogurt. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. If you prefer a sweeter taste, add pomegranate paste. 
 
To serve, place mixture in a dish and smooth out. Garnish with paprika, parsley leaves, red pepper, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. Walnuts go extremely well with this dish. Finish off with a dash of olive oil. Moutabel will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. 
 
Yield: 4–6 servings
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