Moutabal or moutabel, but not baba ganoush. Yes, it’s confusing mainly because they’re both eggplant based dips and they both come from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean areas. So, let’s clarify: the main difference between these two delicious spreads is tahini. Moutabal is made with tahini, while in baba ganoush you’ll find other ingredients, like tomatoes, pomegranate molasses, onions and some spices. Besides, some moutabal recipes include thick yogurt (labneh), but today we’ll make a vegan moutabal.
Moutabal is one of the easiest things one can do in the kitchen. Although I’m an “explorer” and I don’t say “no” when it comes to complicated recipes, I love it when I can have something really tasty, but very quickly to make and with just a few ingredients.
Vegan moutabal ingredients
In this paragraph you’ll find general information about used ingredients. Details about necessary quantities and preparation method can be found in the recipe card at the end of the article.
As mentioned, just a few ingredients:
- eggplant – no matter what people say, open flame roasted eggplant tastes best;
- tahini – make sure to use good quality tahini; this recipe doesn’t call for many ingredients and a bitter tahini will definitely change your eggplant spread taste;
- garlic – make it as garlicky as you like;
- lemon juice
How to make moutabal
Roasting the eggplants will be the hardest step in preparing this recipe. Or, better said, removing the charred eggplant skin, which can be a bit messy. As I mentioned earlier, it’s much better if you can roast the eggplants on an open flame to give this dish its specific smokiness. If open flame is not an option, roasting them in the oven works fine too.
When the eggplants are soft enough, put them into a bowl, sprinkle over some salt, cover with a lit and allow them to rest for 15 minutes. This will help to easily remove the charred skin.
When you finish with the “hard-work”, place the eggplants into a sieve and let them drain for 10 minutes.
Next, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get the desired texture. And you’re done!
How to serve moutabal
This dip never misses from any mezze platter. You’ll spot it among other bowls with creamy hummus, baba ganoush, muhammara and tabbouleh. And they’re always accompanied by flat bread and fresh veggies.
How to store moutabal
You can keep it in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container. I don’t recommend freezing it, but you can freeze the roasted eggplants instead for a few months.
*NOTE: This article was published in October 2020 and updated in August 2021. The recipe remained unchanged.
If you like this vegan moutabal recipe, please rate it or leave a comment below. And, if you prepare this mezze platter dip using my recipe, you can share a photo and tag Choose Tasty either on Instagram (#choose_tasty) or on Facebook (#choosetasty). I’d love to see your creations.
Vegan Moutabal | Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2-3 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- olive oil
- roasted walnuts
- Roast the eggplants either on open flame, on a grill for 15-20 minutes, until skins are completely charred and flash collapses; transfer them in a bowl, sprinkle over some salt and cover with a lid; allow them to rest for 10 minutes;
- Remove the charred skin and transfer to a sieve; let them drain for 10 minutes;
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get the desired texture;
- Transfer the dip into a bowl, garnish it and serve with flat bread and fresh vegetables.