Sunday, January 13, 2013

297. Mutabbal, Aubergine Salad

Aubergines, or eggplants, are thoroughly enjoyed in all forms in the Arab cuisine.
Just in salads, we have seen it fried in Aubergine Rocket Pomegranate Salad , mashed in Baba Ghanouche, and now roasted in this mutabbal salad recipe.
Actually, baba ghanouche and mutabbal are very similar: the aubergines are cooked in exactly the same way, but the former mashes it, whereas the latter simply cuts it into chunks.

A variety of vegetables are added to the muttabal, with no strict quantitative measures.
The dressing is simply a drizzle of tangy pomegranate molasses and fruity olive oil.
I particularly enjoy this salad with all kinds of barbecues.


2 large aubergines
1 yellow capsicum, large dice
2 tomatoes, large dice
2 spring onion, sliced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, optional
pomegranate molasses
olive oil


Preheat oven to 450F.
Poke the surface of the aubergines with a fork a couple of times before roasting it in the oven for about 45 minutes.
(I find that the aubergine has a tendency to explode in the oven if I don't poke some breathing holes in it.)
Let the aubergines cool completely before cutting it in half , peeling it, and cutting the flesh into large chunks.
Arrange the aubergine flesh on serving dish, arrange remaining vegetables (and pomegranate seeds if using) on and around the aubergines in a colorful and attractive manner.
Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and olive oil and serve.

 صحة و عافية


Anonymous said...

A small confusion in names: "mutabbal aubergine" is the name generally admitted for the puree of roasted aubergine mixed with tahini, lemon and garlic alike "hummos mutabbal" aka "hummos bi tahini", while "baba ghannouge" aka "betinjane raheb" is the salad described in your recipe. Two very different recipes which only have in common the 'chargrilled' and 'mashed' aubergines. A confusion in the designation of these dishes reinforced by the ignorance of the western culinary media who, most probably, will soon call our mutabbal... "a hummos of aubergine" !!!!! assimiliting "hummos" to "dip"....

Maryam Mohammed said...

Many thanks Anon for your insight. I, a thorough-bred Arab, also faced this conundrum and had to seek advice in the nomenclature of the two aubergine starters. Restaurants did not help as they too (depending on the origin whether Lebanese or other) would use the names interchangeably resulting in increased confusion. Finally I resorted to what I and my environment are used to: hummus tahina is the chickpea "dip", baba ghanouche is the pureed aubergine with tahini "dip" and the charred aubergine with vegetables is the mutabbal salad. As these are Levant recipes more than Iraqi ones, I would readily budge from my stance in regards to their names to a more knowledgable Levant food connaisseur such as yourself.