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Adapted from a recipe in Jean Paré's 'Company's Coming: dip, dunk & dab, party dips and spreads'. This recipe has been descibed as "an update of baba ghanouj... sweetened with caramelised onions (and served) with pita bread chips or vegetables". I learnt also from this book that 'baba ghanouj' means 'indulged father' in Arabic! Rather patriarchal for 2009! Perhaps that's why Jean Paré has re-named this 'eggplant onion dip' - bland and politically correct! I decided to stay with this name but if anyone knows the Arabic for 'eggplant onion dip', I'll happily rename it. The cooking time includes one hour chilling time.
- 3 medium eggplants
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (more if you love garlic) or 3⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder (more if you love garlic)
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Poke several holes randomly in each eggplant; place the eggplants on a foil-lined baking tray and bake in a 230°C/450°F/7-8 gas markfor about 45 minutes or until softened; let stand for about 10 minutes until it is cool enough to handle; cut the eggplants lengthwise, discard the seeds, scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor; discard the shells; pulse with the on/off motion until the eggplant flesh is finely chopped then transfer it to a medium-sized bowl.
- Heat the olive oil in a large - preferably non-stick pan - over a medium heat; add the onion, garlic and leek; cook for 10-15 minutes, adding sugar about halfway through the cooking time, stirring often until the contents of the pan are caramelised; reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Add the next 4 ingredients - salt, coriander, cumin and pepper - heat and stir for about 15 minutes until fragrant; add to eggplant; stir well until all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Add the remaining 3 ingredients - parsley, lemon juice and tahini - and stir well until all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Chill, covered, for 1 hour to allow the flavours to blend.