If you like eggplant and tahini you will love this recipe, air-fried babaganoush. It’s one of my family’s favorite dipping spreads. My recipe also happens to be easy to make, tastes delicious, has no oil and you can use it as a dipping spread or even as a marinade. If you want to elevate the flavor a little more, instead of air-frying the eggplant, you can throw it on the grill to char it, which gives it a nice smoky flavor.
If you’re wondering what babaganoush is, it’s a Mediterranean dip made from roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil (I don’t use oil), garlic, lemon juice, and salt. If it’s finely chopped, it has a similar texture to hummus.
I also think babaganoush is a very versatile dish. I use it as a side dish, dipping spread for veggies and crackers and when I use it as a marinade, I add it to chicken and then air fry it. We eat it frequently and it makes a great meal prep item too.
For this recipe, I always use a knife to coarsely chop the eggplant. However, you can use a food processor to chop it if you prefer. I prefer using a knife because I have better control of achieving the consistency my family likes. I recommend trying both methods to determine what consistency you like better.
I like to garnish the babaganoush with cumin, parsley and Aleppo pepper. Aleppo pepper comes from a burgundy chile known as Halaby pepper and it’s spicy. The pepper is semi-dried, de-seeded, then crushed or coarsely ground. We purchase it from a Mediterranean market and comes coarsely ground. If you don’t find it, you can use cayenne pepper or paprika.
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Alright, let’s get cooking!
For the babaganoush
- 1 small to medium eggplant
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- cumin to taste (garnish)
- salt to taste
- Aleppo pepper or paprika to taste (garnish)
- Parsley garnish (optional)
For the babaganoush
- Wash eggplant
- Using a knife, poke holes throughout the eggplant.
- Air fry at 400°F for 25 minutes or until skin is dark golden brown, tender & the skin can easily be removed.
- Cut eggplant in half and scoop out eggplant.
- Using a knife, finely chop (or use a food processor) until you achieve a course creamy consistency or your preferred consistency.
- Place eggplant in a bowl, add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and combine until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Garnish with cumin, Aleppo pepper and parsley.