Similar to Baba ghanoush, this Smoked Aubergine Dip starts with roasted aubergines, that get roasted to smoky, charred perfection, then mixed with creamy Tahini. The difference to the traditional dip lies in the Greek yoghurt I’m adding. For both added creaminess and protein. If you were always sceptical about aubergines, do give this one a try. It certainly converted me into a lover of their creamy texture!
Why You Want to Make This
Great for a Mezze Feast
Another amazing middle eastern dip for the upcoming Mezze Feast, this Smoked Aubergine Dip is highly addictive. Yet super easy to make. While roasting or charring the aubergines takes some time, it’s mostly hands off, while you can get on with other things.
If you are following along with the feast, you might want to prepare your flatbreads, so they are ready when the dip is. Or the Hummus, if you are preparing it with crudites.
The very first time I made this, I had it with roasted lamb shoulder many years ago, long before this blog existed and got entirely hooked. I was never a fan of aubergine before, as I felt it doesn’t taste like much and has a weird texture.
That completely changes once you roast it until completely black and collapsed, which makes them super smoky and creamy when the flesh is scraped out.
You can eat this with meat (lamb is particularly delicious), as dip, with crudites, as spread or just as a side with all kinds of dishes.
Based on vegetables, same as the Muhammara I made for the same Mezze Feast, which was based on peppers. And the Hummus, which is based on chickpeas.
With this one being made from Aubergines, you get all the benefits of high fibre and nutrients, while enjoying a super creamy and smoky dip.
All you need is an oven, air fryer or open flame, to get your aubergines nice and charred. After that a bowl and a fork plus spoon are all the required equipment. Once the aubergine is cooked, it’s just a matter of mushing it a bit with a fork and stirring in the remaining ingredients and you are done.
Which brings us to the next point indeed. The all-important ingredients.
Aubergines – of course. As mentioned above, are the main ingredient.
0% fat Greek yoghurt – I love this as addition, because it adds incredible creaminess and fresh tang without adding fat and a fair bit of protein, which we want especially when eating a vegetarian Mezze feast like the one I’m preparing.
Tahini – The ground sesame paste is essential here, to transform this into the creamy and nutty dip we are looking for. Same as with the Hummus:
Whatever you do, please don’t use the classic supermarket version of Tahini here, which you will recognise by the firm and hard to scoop paste in a jar topped with a thick layer of oil. I found they are at best just hard to work with, worst case add a horrible, bitter note to whatever you use them in.
What we are after is creamy, liquid and lovely sesame flavoured. Israeli, Lebanese, and Palestinian version like “Al Nakhil”, which is the one I’m using.
Admittedly I have to order it online and often it is sold out in Ireland. So when I spot it, I tend to order several containers, for fear of running out.
I often get it at the Asia Market or Fallon & Byrne in Ireland. But if you live elsewhere in the world, check for the above countries of origin and you should be fine.
Molasses – This might seem like an odd addition but trust me here. I found it takes this already delicious dip over the top, as it complements the aubergine and nutty Tahini perfectly by adding sweet, almost smoky notes. If you don’t have any, you could use date syrup or even a little honey. But much less than molasses, as it’s sweeter.
Garlic – I suppose this one is obvious, as it makes nearly each of the dips better. And if you have guests, everyone will eat it, so no one will be bothered by the smell. Adjust the amount to your liking. But beware, it gets stronger if you make the dip in advance.
Mint – Not traditional, same as the molasses and yoghurt, but it adds herby freshness as contrast to the creamy smokiness which I really love. Dill or parsley could be used instead.
Lemon – There is barely a dish I wouldn’t add lemon to, to bring out all the flavours. We need the acidity here, to balance the mild and creamy aubergine and nutty Tahini.
Roasting the Aubergines
We want to achieve perfect collapsing softness and charred black skin on the aubergines, so we get the addictive smoky flavour that makes this dip so incredible.
This can be done over a gas flame, as is traditional, or, as I do it since I don’t have a gas hob (and would hate the cleanup) in my air fryer or oven.
Pre-heat your oven or air fryer to 200°C (400°F).
Prick holes into your aubergines with a fork. This is important, so they don’t explode. Trust me, you do not want to clean exploded aubergine.
Rub them with a little olive oil and place either directly in your air fryer (which is much faster than your oven for this) or an ovenproof dish in the middle of your oven.
Roast in the air fryer for about 20-30 minutes, turning every 5min. Or until totally collapsed and with charred skin.
In your oven this will take about 50-60 minutes, turning about 3-4 times.
The consistency should be similar to a completely overripe banana. If it’s not, cook them longer. The flesh will look almost translucent, with none of the white firmness left.
Scooping out the flesh
Once it comes out of the oven, get a sieve that can take both aubergines and make a cut the long side down with a sharp knife, holding them ideally with tongs or an ovenproof glove, as they will be hot. Place them in the sieve, cut side pointing down, so some of the fluid can drain.
When they are cool enough to handle safely, scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a large bowl and mash it thoroughly with a fork. You could use a food processor for this if you want, but usually it’s so easy, that I feel the washing up is more work than the bit of mashing.
Mixing the dip
Add the minced garlic, Tahini, Greek yoghurt, molasses, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly, until you have a creamy dip.
Have a taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Add the finely chopped mint or any other herbs you enjoy.
Serve with flatbread, meat, crudites or as part of a Mezze feast.
This Smoked Aubergine Dip will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. So you can make it well ahead and enjoy it either as Mezze feast or during the week as healthy snack, which I do a lot.
For the recipes of the upcoming Mezze Fest so far, check these:
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?
If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.
Smoked Aubergine Dip
- 2 medium Aubergines eggplants
- 4 tbsp Tahini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt
- ½ lemon juiced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp mint finely chopped
- ½ tsp kosher salt or more to taste
- Preheat your oven or air fryer to 200°C (400°F).
- Begin by pricking holes into your aubergines with a fork to prevent them from exploding during the cooking process.
- Rub the aubergines with a little olive oil and place them directly in your air fryer or in an ovenproof dish in the middle of your oven.
- Roast in the air fryer for about 20-30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. In the oven, this will take about 50-60 minutes, turning about 3-4 times. The goal is to achieve perfect collapsing softness and charred black skin on the aubergines, which will give your dip a smoky flavour.
- The consistency should be similar to a completely overripe banana. The flesh will look almost translucent, with none of the white firmness left. If needed, cook them longer until they reach this state.
- Once the aubergines are done roasting, cut them lengthwise with a sharp knife and, using tongs or an ovenproof glove, place them in a sieve, cut side down, to allow excess liquid to drain. Let them cool for a bit.
- When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a large bowl and mash it thoroughly with a fork. You can use a food processor if you prefer, but hand mashing is usually sufficient and saves on cleanup.
- Add the minced garlic, tahini, Greek yogurt, molasses, lemon juice, olive oil, and some salt and pepper to the mashed aubergines. Stir thoroughly until you have a creamy dip. Adjust the seasoning to your liking. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.
- Finally, stir in the finely chopped mint or any other herbs you enjoy. This will add a fresh and aromatic touch to your dip.
- Serve your smoked aubergine dip with flatbread, meat, crudites, or as part of a Mezze feast. Enjoy the addictive smoky flavour and creamy texture of this delicious dip!
Protein per Portion: Approximately 3 grams
Carbohydrates per Portion: Approximately 12 grams
Fat per Portion: Approximately 7 grams
Fiber per Portion: Approximately 3 grams
Sugar per Portion: Approximately 6 grams
Sodium per Portion: Approximately 158 milligrams Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on specific brands and variations in ingredient measurements.