Armenian Blistered Eggplant Dip, aka Baba Ghanoush or Moutabal – A Lenten Recipe

By Robyn Kalajian
Florida Armenians Cuisine Contributor

Back in December we were pleased to see a recipe for ‘Armenian Blistered Eggplant Dip’ by Dayana Sarkisova in the Washington Post. Why did this make us happy? Because the recipe, also known as ‘Baba Ghanoush’ or ‘Moutabal’, is one that we love. We also enjoy the grilled zucchini version of this, Mama Ghanoush.

By the way, this is perfect for Lent, which begins on Monday, February 24th this year.

Here is The Armenian Kitchen’s version of ‘Armenian Blistered Eggplant Dip’

Here’s my version of ‘Armenian Blistered Eggplant Dip’ –
‘Baba Ghanoush’, or, ‘Moutabal’:

(Making this recipe a day in advance will allow the flavors to develop.)

Yield: about 1 ½ to 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 large purple eggplants
  • 2 large cloves garlic, roasted and mashed
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Aleppo pepper (freshly ground black pepper may be substituted)
  • 1 tsp. ground sumac (sold in Middle Eastern stores)
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Rinse eggplant; pat dry. Using a paring knife or fork, pierce the eggplant all around.

Roasted eggplant.

Wrap 2 large, unpeeled garlic cloves in foil. Place pierced eggplant and wrapped garlic on prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 30-35 minutes or until eggplant and garlic are soft. To test for softness, insert the fork or paring knife into the eggplant. It should slide in without any resistance.

Using tongs, place eggplant on a wire rack to cool. Remove garlic from foil; gently squeeze softened garlic into a bowl and mash with a fork. Set garlic aside until ready to add.

Eggplant mixture before processing.

Once eggplant is cool enough to handle, put it on a cutting board, pull away the skin and discard. Roughly chop the eggplant, then place it in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients mixing to combine.

To make a semi-smooth mixture, puree it in a food processor for a few seconds, but don’t over-do it.

Return mixture to the mixing bowl to adjust seasonings, if necessary.

To Serve: Place eggplant dip into a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro. Add a sprinkling of sumac and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

It’s best served at room temperature with chips, crackers, vegetable sticks, pita bread triangles, or lavash.

Armenian Church Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan Visits Florida

(Photo by Teresa Haidarian)

Armenian Church Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan led a weekend of sacred observances and fellowship at the St. Hagop Armenian Church of St. Petersburg, FL, on January 24-26.

The visit began on Friday evening, when the Primate ordained a pair of young parishioners, Edmond Keshishian and Shagen Babayan, as tbirs, during a solemn vespers service. Afterwards, parishioners adjourned to the church hall for dinner and an informal discussion period with Bishop Daniel.

The Friday service was a prelude to the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, when Edmond and Shagen joined Robert Maslar and Michael Sarafian in receiving the sacrament of ordination as sub-deacons, by the bishop’s hand.

(Photo by Teresa Haidarian)

(Photo by Teresa Haidarian)

“There were tears in people’s eyes, including mine, during this ordination—maybe for the same reason people cry at weddings,” said pastor Fr. Hovnan Derderian. “When anyone new is married, in a sense we are all re-married and rededicate ourselves to our own sacred bond. When anyone is newly ordained, we are all in a sense re-ordained and re-baptized, in that we’re rededicating ourselves to follow Christ and serve each other in faith, hope, and love.”

Following Holy Badarak, Bishop Daniel blessed a new khatchkar (stone cross) donated to the church by parishioners Ara and Rita Keshishian. At a reception, the parish screened an original video about the artisan who carved the khatchkar.

(Photo by Teresa Haidarian)

St. Hagop Armenian Church Women’s Guild February Luncheon

You are invited to attend a special St. Hagop Armenian Church Women’s Guild Luncheon on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 11:45am – 3:30pm at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club at 11 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Make checks payable to the St. Hagop Women’s Guild for $21.00. Parking for the event will also be $7.00. 

Please contact Karen Minassian at 941-504-5545 or Debra Kamajian at 727-735-1929 to reserve a spot or if you have any questions. We look forward to enjoying a lovely lunch with all of you!