Mtabbal is a Middle Eastern silky, lemony, garlicky, smoky, eggplant dip…
Also know as Mutabbal, it’s a very popular Middle Eastern dish that is made with roasted eggplants, garlic, tahini (sesame paste), lemon, and a pinch of salt! Usually served as a one of the starter dishes as a part of the Arabic Mezza. But I’d snack on this dip, and eat it with some freshly baked pita bread.
It looks very similar to hummus, in fact when I was little I was a very picky eater and I would never try things like Mtabbal or Baba Ganoush. So I never really knew the difference between hummus, fattet hummus, baba ganoush or mtabbal. Even though I grew up in Jordan, I only found out the difference when I grew up. And that was when I understood how I was missing out!
The texture of Mtabbal is silky, smooth and it’s very creamy. It is much lighter than hummus and tastes completely different.
MIDDLE EASTERN MEZZA
You will always find Mtabbal along with Baba Ganoush in any restaurant in Jordan, Syria, or Lebanon as a part of the traditional Middle Eastern Mezza. It’s usually served as a side dish, in the Middle East people usually start with Mezza which is basically a table that is full with different sides dishes, some are served warm while other dishes are served cold. Mtabbal has recently became one of my favourite! People enjoy Mezza while sipping drinks and happy chattering and only after that the main dish is served.
HOW TO MAKE MTABBAL
- You can roast it by placing it directly over the stove top and turning it side to side until it turns dark black and pulp is soft and tender
- Bake it in the oven by making holes in the eggplant using a fork, then wrap it with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes
- Slice your eggplant in half then place it on a baking tray and bake for 50 minutes
Mtabbal (Eggplant dip)
- 1 fresh eggplant aubergine
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp tahini sesame sauce
- juice of a lemon
- a pinch of salt
- olive oil
- summaq optional
- parsley or mint leaves optional
First you need to roast the eggplant by placing it directly over the fire on your stove top. Roast it for about 15 minutes by turning it from side to side until it's black and the pulp is soft and tender.
Once the eggplant is done, you need to peel off the skin, and then mash it using a fork or a potato masher.
Add minced garlic, salt, and juice of a lemon, mix. Then add the Tahini sauce (which is made by mixing the tahini paste with cold water and lemon juice - unless you have used all of the juice in the previous step)
When serving, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, and garnish with Summaq and parsley or crushed mint leaves. Serve warm or cold with pita or taboun bread.
Roasted eggplants freeze very well and can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months.