Recipe for Mutabal / Moutabbal / Moutabel – an eggplant dip, part of a Mezze platter
I’ll be honest with you. I did not know of this eggplant dip until my trip to Jordan. I have been familiar with Baba Ganoush for over a decade, but Mutabal, nope, never heard of it! Among many other culinary learnings in Jordan, this was another revelation – that our dear Baba Ganoush has a cousin called Mutabal, a richer, creamier dip, with a texture somewhere in between a hummus and a Baba Ganoush. Trust me, if you are not planning a trip to the Middle East anytime soon, you should not deprive yourself of this utterly lip-smacking dip. A bowl of hummus, another bowl of mutabal, a stack of pita breads or crackers, and you’ll feel that life has taken a delicious turn
Mutabal Vs Baba Ganoush
Both Mutabal and Baba Ganoush are made using roasted eggplants. The start of both recipes is to roast large globe eggplants on a direct flame, rotating it around until the skin is completely charred and the eggplant flesh is collapsing into a mush. The skin is then peeled off, rescuing the pulpy flesh that is bursting with an intense smoky aroma.
Add tahini, yogurt, mashed garlic, lemon juice and salt and you get Mutabal.
Add chopped tomatoes, onion, mint, lots of extra virgin olive oil, parsley, pomegranate molasses and you get the lighter, salsa-like Baba Ganoush. The Baba Ganoush we prepared in our cooking session at Petra Kitchen even included chopped green capsicums.
This of course is the Jordanian way! I’m sure every Middle Eastern country has its own formula to prepare Baba Ganoush.