(enough for 2-4)
¼ fresh poblano chili, finely chopped
1 teaspoon whole cumin, roasted and crushed
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 teaspoons sesame paste (tahini)
(seasoning with lime)
Peel and cut the Eggplant into small pieces. Sauté on low heat with olive oil and salt until almost soft. Add the finely chopped poblano and continue until the eggplant is really soft and creamy. Add cumin and garlic and mix well. Pour the mixture into a blender, add the sesame paste and blend together. If necessary drip some more olive oil into the mixture. Season with lime juice (optional).
(For a more smoky taste you can bake the eggplant in the oven: Pierce the eggplant with a knife so the steam can evaporate while baking. Splash some olive oil on top and bake in the oven at 390ºF (200ºC) until the inside is really soft and the outside has become a little blackened and crisp. Sauté the poblano chili together with the cumin and garlic. In this option you must add olive oil at the end).
Works both as a starter with bread or as a side to sausages or BBQ-ed lamb.
This recipe was inspired by Simon Hopkinson’s recipe “Creamed Eggplant” in his book “Roast Chicken and Other Stories”. His recipe is very close to a classic baba ghanoush
My favorite store has stopped selling tahini by the cup. Now I can only buy tahini in enormous and rather expensive containers. So I started to think it must be possible to make tahini yourself, as its just a sesame seed paste.
Sesame Paste – Tahini
50 ml (¼ cup) sesame seeds
(a little water or mild olive oil)
Toast the sesame seeds until they start to pop in a skillet (the toasting gives the seeds a much richer taste). Pour them immediately into a mortar and start grinding (you can also use a food processor or even a coffee grinder). Add a dash of water or olive oil at the end to combine the mixture into a paste. The paste can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
eq. part raw tahini paste (see above)
eq. part cold water
some lemon or lime
some parsley or oregano (optional)
Slowly stir a little water at a time into the tahini. At first the mixture will thicken, but it gets looser as you slowly add more water. If you want a thicker tahini sauce, just use less water as described. Season w/ garlic lemon/lime juice, parsley and salt.
I serve the tahini sauce on sautéed spinach (or other green vegetables). More traditionally you have it with falafel but it works on salads and BBQed meat and vegetables as well.