This delicious salad or dip, Abagannuc or Baba ghanoush, is very popular in Antakya and Southern Turkish cuisine and one of our family favorites. It has many variations throughout the Middle East, where tahini maybe added or plain yoghurt and what to include or not include may invite heated debates! No matter how the finishing touch will be, the essence of this salad remains the same; the aubergines are traditionally cooked over open fire or over the burner to get the smoky flavor. The skin of aubergines and peppers burn and their flesh becomes soft, sweet and tender.
In Turkey, a very simple gadget called “Kozmatik” is used to cook the aubergines over the burner. It has a steel base with holes on it, a genius idea to cook the vegetables without much of a mess!
You can cook the aubergines a day ahead of time; just add ½ juice of lemon after mashing and combine well, that will help to retain its color. Cover and keep in the fridge until you make the salad. I also added a drizzle of pomegranate molasses as a dressing in this version; the smoky flavor of aubergines and peppers worked really well with pomegranate molasses. When in season, pomegranate seeds would also be lovely over this salad.
Abagannuc or baba ghanoush goes very well as part of a mezze spread or with any grills. I also love this dip on crackers or toasted bread with a nice sharp cheese or feta cheese aside.
I hope you enjoy our version of Abagannuc or baba ghannoush, packed with flavor. This delicious meze and over 90 authentic recipes from my homeland are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table; signed copies available at this link (it is 10 % off), delivered worldwide including the US and Canada.
- 2 medium aubergines / eggplants
- 1 pointy red pepper or bell pepper
- 3 small, ripe tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed with salt and finely chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 30ml/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- A drizzle (about 10ml/2 tsp) pomegranate molasses to decorate (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve
- Line the base of your burners with a foil to protect, keeping only the burners exposed.
- Place the eggplants or aubergines and pepper directly over the burner on medium heat and roast for about 15 - 20 minutes, turning occasionally. (You can roast the tomatoes on a barbeque or on the oven at 200 C for about 20-25 minutes, as it can get quite messy over the burner.)
- If you prefer not to have the smoky flavor, you can also score the aubergines with a knife in few places and bake on a baking tray for 50 – 60 minutes. In this case, turn them around every 20 minutes or so that they would cook evenly. Pepper would need about 35-40 minutes to cook in the oven and chargrill.
- If you are cooking over the burner, use metal tongs to turn the aubergines and pepper around so that all sides would cook evenly and the skin is nicely chargrilled. Cook until the skin is burnt and the flesh is soft.
- Remove the cooked aubergines, tomatoes and the pepper to a colander to allow them to cool. Once cool, peel and discard their burnt skin and leave them in the colander to drain aubergine’s bitter juices. I like to gently squeeze the aubergine flesh to drain as much water as possible.
- Chop the flesh of the aubergine, pepper and tomatoes coarsely and mash them with a fork.
- Place the flesh in a bowl and stir in the chopped garlic, lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil, combine well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- When serving, drizzle with pomegranate molasses over (if you prefer to) and give a gentle mix; its tangy flavor works really well with the smoked aubergine and peppers.
this looks wonderful. i love good baba ghannoush.the best i ever tasted was prepared by a turkish woman in toronto. she roasted the eggplant and just added lemon, oil and salt and pepper. it had a rich roasted flavor and was heavenly.
Thank you Jaz, simplicity is the key I think; a few good ingredients, a nice dressing and you get a smashing dish – that’s how i feel about baba ghanoush. Glad you enjoyed yours!
Yum! I just wish we lived closer to each other. I’d bring dessert over! 😉
Oh, how I wished too Joy! Your desserts are the best 🙂
Nice. simple and absolutely delicious , thanks!
Many thanks for your note, so glad you enjoed my Baba ghanoush recipe – aubergine / eggplant is a nation’s favourite and I love this deliciously smoky salad too.
Just to let you know, this salad and over 90 authentic, delicious Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, recently won the prestigious Gourmand Cook Book Award too. Signed copies are available here and delivered worldwide, as well as kindle and other options:
I miss .my friend Necela from Instanbul and miss her Baba ganoush . I made this and pretended she was here in California again with me. Food and Friends equal Heaven !
Merhaba, what a kind note, thank you. Absolutely, food memories with friends are so precious and connect us wherever we are; I am sure Necela was with you in spirit – afiyet olsun! Ozlem
Özlem’ciğim, Smoked aubergine salad is one of my standard mezes but I’ve never added red pepper or tomatoes. Imagine that! Brilliant. I’m going to put the two patlıcan in the fridge to work today. Thanks for this recipe. Öptük. Jolee
Merhaba Jolee, rica ederim, always a pleasure : ) Addition of sweet long pointy peppers – sivri kirmizi biber – and a few juicy tomatoes really complement the eggplants, patlican, hope you enjoy it. Cok sevgilerimle, Ozlem x
Delightful to have this recipe, Ozlem, it’s one of the few ways I enjoy eating aubergine. A must try:) xxPeri.
Thanks dear Peri, I know aubergine is not your most favorite veg – I am delighted that you may enjoy it this way : ) Ozlem xx
Really, what would the world do if aubergines didn’t exist?! That’s what I always think, anyway. 😉 This looks like a lovely version.
Thanks Julia, do enjoy every way of cooking aubergine, glad you liked this one : )
Dear Ozlem, I came here from “Cuisine de provence” and I must say that I am very happy I did. Love your recipes and your blog – so many great ideas and photos – your recipe for baba ghanoush withthe final touch of pomegranate molasses sounds wonderful – these ingredienst are also easy to find in Turkish markets around here so I am looking forward to following you along and trying out some of your lovely recipes! Thanks for sharing!
Merhaba Andrea, so lovely to get your note, many thanks! I am a huge fan of “Cuisine de Provence” and I am glad our paths crossed, so delighted that the recipes may inspire you, hope you enjoy them. My best wishes, Ozlem
Hi Ozlem, I’ve never added roasted papers but now you suggest it, of course it is a perfect addition.
Thanks BB, the sweetness of the peppers work really well with aubergines, hope you enjoy it. Cok selamlar, Ozlem
Wow, I would love one of those kozmatiks! I can’t find much about it. Do you know where one might be able to buy one online?
Merhaba Kim, I am afraid this is quite a local, simple gadget – not sure you can find online. If you have a Turkish or Middle Eastern store nearby, they may carry though. If you ever travel back to Turkey, it really is worth getting – such a good value and you get a lot of use!
http://Www.tuluumba.com has them.
Thank you Cali, good to know! x
Big fan of your site and thanks for all the wonderful recipes you’ve shared (and extra inches to my waist!). I’m afraid I can’t find the Kozmatik locally here in the States either, although I will be traveling to Istanbul in near future. If I can’t find it anywhere online, do you happen to know which stores in Istanbul might carry it? Thanks!
Many thanks for your kind note, I am delighted to hear you are enjoying the recipes : ) Re Kozmatik, unfortunately it is hard to find abroad. it is actually such a simple gadget, a simple steel base with holes in it. In Istanbul I would look at the small scale kitchenware and copper ware shops just outside of Spice Market. Some supermarkets also carry it too, though mainly small scale kitchenware shops. All the best, have a wonderful time in Istanbul!
I am trying to prepare your recipe as I type! I lived in Adana for 2 years and had some if the most delicious food along with falling in love with the people and culture. I miss it so much so I hope this turns out well!
Merhaba Hope, how lovely to find your note, do hope you enjoyed making babaghanounsh and it brought happy memories of your time in Adana, afiyet olsun!
This is best version I have tried. I like it so much better chunky than when it looks and tastes like hummus. Why not just make hummus? My dinner guests tonight all raved about this dish. Thank you!
Hi Michelle, thank you so much for your kind note, I am really delighted to hear you enjoyed this chunky version, I love it this way too – Afiyet Olsun!
Just to let you know, this recipe and over 90 authentic recipes are also in my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table – signed copies at this link, if you’re interested in : https://www.gbpublishing.co.uk/ozlemsturkishtable
Amazing meze dip – I make it all the time
Thank you, so glad you enjoy it, Afiyet olsun, Ozlem
Gunaydin! I did not get the confirmation e-mail, but I love Turkish cuisine e culture. I already made some borek and I’m looking forward to receiving your recipes.
Merhaba Sonia, many thanks for signing up for website, delighted you enjoy Turkish cuisine – hope you enjoy my recipes here, Afiyet Olsun! Ozlem