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Baba Ganoush
Middle Eastern
Sharing plate
1.5 hours

This baba ganoush recipe from James Walters, chef and founder of Arabica in London, offers some summery twists on the classic mezze: "A real crowd pleaser that will silence the most die-hard carnivore at the dinner table. Traditionally scooped up with khobez (flatbread) as part of a mezze and enjoyed across the Levant — the sun-drenched shores of the Eastern Mediterranean (Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Turkey). The Turkish version, Patlıcan Salatası, is spiked with smoky red peppers, garlic, chilli flakes, and roasted tomato and finished with a dollop of thick yoghurt. Our summery version is drizzled with fruity, sweet and sour pomegranate molasses, a generous dollop of earthy saffron-infused yoghurt, a handful of freshly picked mint and parsley leaves, pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts."

Recipe courtesy of
  • 2 medium-sized aubergines 
  • Olive oil for brushing 

Saffron Yoghurt 

  • 1 small pinch of saffron strands 
  • 60ml hot water
  • 200g thick labneh or Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely crushed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Sea salt flakes, to taste 


  • 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses 
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful fresh parsley leaves 
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 pinch Urfa chilli flakes 
  • Sea salt, to taste 
  • Black pepper, to taste 
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  1. Start by preparing the saffron yoghurt, as this can be made up to 2 days in advance. Place the saffron strands into a cup, add the hot water and leave to infuse until the liquid is cool, to extract the maximum colour and flavour. Strain the infusion to remove the strands and pour into a bowl containing the yoghurt, finely crushed garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Gently whisk the yoghurt until smooth and golden in appearance. Taste for seasoning and chill until ready to use. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  3. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Score with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern ensuring you don’t cut through the skin. 
  4. Char the skins of the aubergines until black and flaky over your stove or a barbecue, then brush with the flesh side with olive oil. Place on a roasting tray, skin-side down and cook in a hot oven for 15—20 minutes until the flesh is soft and easily comes away from the skin when probed. 
  5. Alternatively, you can prick the aubergines (keeping them whole) a couple of times with a sharp knife to stop them exploding during cooking. Blacken the aubergines over a barbecue, or gas hob, turning regularly until completely charred and then slit the aubergines lengthways and garnish. Both cooking methods achieve similar results; this method is a bit less self-conscious.  
  6. To serve – place the roasted aubergine onto a serving dish. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with pomegranate molasses, and add a spoonful of saffron yoghurt to each aubergine half. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, fresh picked mint and parsley and pomegranate seeds before serving.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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