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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 3 cups

Lebanese-style moutabal is a delicious eggplant dip that’s best served alongside pita bread wedges, fresh veggies, or oil-free falafels. While some recipes call for the addition of Greek yogurt to add creaminess, our vegan version relies on nutty tahini and zesty lemon juice to achieve a velvety texture. When picking out eggplants for this recipe, look for ones that are firm, shiny, and heavy for their size (which is a signal of freshness). They’re broiled whole in the oven to char the skin and infuse the tender insides with a slightly smoky flavor, so picking quality produce is key for a tasty result. Top your moutabal with sumac, parsley, and pomegranate seeds to create a drool-worthy dip that makes for a great party appetizer or sandwich spread.

For more vegan dips, check out these tasty ideas:

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants (2 to 2½ lb. total)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 ice cube
  • 3 small cloves garlic, minced
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate arils, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler. Place whole eggplants on a baking sheet; broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 20 to 25 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the flesh, turning once halfway through.
  2. Transfer eggplants to a large bowl; cover with a clean dish cloth. Let eggplants stand 10 to 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel eggplants, discarding skin and stems and scooping eggplant flesh into a medium bowl. Drain off any liquid that collects in bowl.
  3. In a food processor combine lemon juice, tahini, ice cube, garlic, and salt. Process to a thick paste. Add eggplant. Process until incorporated. Continue processing to reach desired texture.
  4. Serve dip at room temperature garnished with sumac, parsley, and pomegranate arils (if using).

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about the author

Nirvaan Thacker

Nirvaan Thacker has been passionate about food and flavors since childhood. He completed his bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and management from the Culinary Institute of America. After working and staging at some of America’s finest restaurants, including Le Bernardin and The Modern in New York, as well as Tamarind in London, Thacker is back in India to continue his culinary journey. He is currently chef and partner at A2J Hospitality, which owns and operates Za’atar, a quick-service Middle Eastern restaurant chain in Mumbai and Pune, India; and Aglio, a delivery-focused pizza kitchen. He is a chef consultant for the plant protein brand Blue Tribe, and he recently helped launch a modern Indian tapas and cocktail restaurant in Amsterdam called Miri Mary.

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