On the menu today: baba ganuj

Think of Jordan and you probably think immediately of the vast desert landscapes of Wadi Rum or the Rose City of Petra’s monastery and treasury. And there’s good reason for that – both Petra and Wadi Rum had starring roles in films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Lawrence of Arabia respectively. Petra is one of the New Wonders of the World, and apart from the magnificent treasury and monastery, there are some 500 tombs in the vicinity. The sights alone make it a fascinating place to visit.

But along with the incredible scenery, Jordan is the perfect place to sample delicious, traditional Middle Eastern fare such as shorabat freeka (green wheat soup), mutabel (eggplant dip), muhammara (nut and chili dip), foul m’dammas (dried fava beans in oil), siwani djaj  (pan-roasted chicken) and um ali (milk and pastry pudding). And then of course, there’s the famous baba ganuj; a tasty aubergine dish mashed in with various dressings. Here’s an esay recipe for a tasty baba ganuj, using ingredients that you’d find at any supermarket. Enjoy!


2 Lb (1kg) eggplants
1 large tomato
1 green pepper
1 medium-size onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon mint
2 tablespoons olive oil

Roast the eggplants by placing on baking dish in medium oven approx one hour until the skin is charred and begins to split. When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, break open and scoop out the pulp. Mash the pulp with a fork to a smooth puree and add olive oil and lemon juice. Chop vegetables finely, then add them to the mashed eggplants and mix well.

And there you have it! It’s an easy recipe to prepare, and the perfect way to add the flavour of the Arab world to your table.

Bon Appétit!

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