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Mutabbal is the ultimate creamy eggplant dip. Roasted (almost burnt) eggplants are whipped with garlic, creamy tahini, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice until fluffy. Perfectly balanced, this restaurant-style version is the perfect dish for a light lunch or a mezze dinner, paired with a dry Pinot Grigio.

Mutabbal in a plate with a glass of white wine and Shirazi salad on the side

What is Mutabbal?

Mutabbal is a popular Middle-Eastern roasted eggplant dip made with tahini, yogurt, and lemon juice. Staple of many Arabic cuisines, this creamy dip is usually topped with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. However, this recipe is pretty versatile and can accommodate a variety of toppings (hello fresh pomegranate or toasted pine nuts!).

Mutabbal is sometimes confused with Baba Ganoush. While both recipes are eggplant spreads, Baba Ganoush does not traditionally contain tahini and is mixed with chopped vegetables such as tomatoes and red onions.

Why you should try this recipe

  • No gas stove required. Traditional versions of Mutabbal often use a burner’s open flame to roast the eggplant. As I do not own a gas stove (as do many people), this recipe uses the oven’s broiler while giving a similar result as a burner. No clean-up of a messy stovetop!
  • Perfect for summer light lunches – this eggplant dip is healthy, fresh, creamy, and vibrant with flavors. A real crowd-pleaser.
  • Mutabbal is a mandatory stop for any mezze-type meal – served with Mediterranean Vegan White Bean Artichoke Dip, Muhammara with Fresh Pomegranate, or Spicy Roasted Mushrooms and Feta Dip.
two eggplants, Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt, fresh parsley and pomegranate on a marble surface

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The ingredients you’ll need

  • Eggplants – medium-sized eggplants yield the best result.
  • Garlic – choose the color and variety you prefer!
  • Tahini – for a nutty touch. I recommend the paler versions made from hulled sesame seeds that guarantees a smooth dip.
  • Greek yogurt (or any unsweetened thick yogurt) – for the extra creaminess and tang.
  • Fresh lemon juice – balances the creaminess of tahini and eggplants.
  • Flaky sea salt – to season.

Topping suggestions:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – drizzled on top, pairs perfectly with this creamy dip.
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds – a perfect fresh and crunchy add-in.
  • Fresh herbs: chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint, and dill – for their complementary flavors and depth.
  • Sumac – elevates Mutabbal with its natural tang.
roasted eggplants open in half on a sheet pan

How to make Mutabbal (using an oven)?

Start by roasting the eggplants:

  • Turn the oven on to broil. 
  • Thoroughly rinse the eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. 
  • Poke the eggplants in several places with the tip of a knife, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. Do not peel the skin or remove the stem. 
  • Place the eggplant on the medium rack of your oven and broil for 50 min, turning them every 15 minutes. Keep broiling until the eggplants burst, collapse, and soften. It’s normal if some parts are charred, this gives the mutabbal a nice smoky touch.

Prepare the eggplants:

  • Remove the eggplants from the oven and let them cool down for about 30 minutes, or until they are cooled enough that they can be manipulated.
  • Peel them, remove the stem, and discard the black skins.

  • Transfer the eggplant flesh to a fine mesh strainer or a sieve and let the extra liquid drain, pressing it down to help squeeze the liquid out.

Make the mutabbal:

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the drained eggplant flesh, grated garlic, Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Then using a whisk, stir dynamically until the eggplant’s flesh is no longer stringy, and the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 

Note: this step is crucial to obtain the fluffy restaurant-style Mutabbal texture. It takes a bit of elbow grease but it’s really worth the effort!

Plate the mutabbal:

  • Spread the mutabbal on a shallow plate, creating swirls and crevices in which olive oil can go. 
  • Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle the toppings of your choice. Here I went with fresh pomegranate seeds, chopped parsley, and sumac!
  • Enjoy with warm flatbreads and a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio!

a hand holding a flatbread digging in a plate Mutabbal with a glass of white wine and Shirazi salad on the side

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. Drain the eggplant flesh – removing the excess water allows for a light creamy texture, without becoming siggy.
  2. Beating dynamically the ingredients with a whisk is the best way to achieve a fluffy, restaurant-style light texture. Just out of the skin, the eggplant flesh is stringy. Beating dynamically with a whisk breaks the strings of flesh while preserving the texture of the roasted eggplants (unlike a food processor). It takes a bit of elbow grease but it’s really worth the effort!

What to serve with Mutabbal?

Fluffy Skillet Flatbreads, fresh naan, or crusty sourdough bread are perfect bread to spread Mutabal on. For a mezze-type meal, I love serving Mutabbal with Mediterranean Vegan White Bean Artichoke Dip, Muhammara with Fresh Pomegranate, or Spicy Roasted Mushrooms and Feta Dip. Plenty for your guests to share and a real feast!


close-up of Mutabbal in a plate with flatbreads on the side

Wine Pairing for Mutabbal 🍷


PINOT GRIS

This grape variety, also called Pinot Grigio in Italy, or Grauburgunder in Germany produces wines that are bold with flavors. They usually display aromas of peach and apricot with smoky undertones.

The bright acidity of Pinot Grigio will provide a beautiful contrast to the creaminess of tahini and eggplants. while complementing the garlic, pomegranate, and lemon.

Pinot Grigio wines can be made in a wide range of sweetness levels from bone dry to sweet. To pair with this recipe, I recommend a dry Pinot Grigio.

WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS

  • Dry Pinot Grigio from Oregon (United States)
  • Dry Pinot Gris from the Okanagan Valley (Canada)
  • Dry Pinot Gris from Alsace (France)

close-up of Mutabbal in a plate with pomegranate seeds, olive oil, parsley and sumac

FAQ

Can I make Mutabbal vegan?

Yes! Just replace dairy Greek yogurt with plant-based Greek yogurt!

What to serve with Mutabbal?

Fluffy flatbread or crusty toasted sourdough bread slices are my go-to!

Can I make Mutabbal ahead of time?

Absolutely. Make the Mutabbal and store it in the fridge covered with cling film. Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving (it helps loosen the texture) and add the toppings at the last minute.

Other delicious Middle-Eastern-Inspired Recipes


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close-up of a plate of Mutabbal with a spoon

Mutabbal (Middle-Eastern Eggplant Dip)

Mutabbal is the ultimate creamy eggplant dip. Roasted (almost burnt) eggplants are whipped with garlic, creamy tahini, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice until fluffy. Perfectly balanced, this restaurant-style version is the perfect dish for a light lunch or a mezze dinner, paired with a dry Pinot Grigio.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Middle-Eastern
Diet Vegetarian
Servings 4

EQUIPEMENT

  • Quarter Sheet Pan
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk

INGREDIENTS
 

For the Mutabbal

  • 2 medium (450-500 g) eggplants about 1 pound / 450-500 g
  • 1 medium clove of garlic grated
  • ¼ cup (70 g) thick Greek yogurt or Labneh
  • ¼ cup (60 g) good quality tahini
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the toppings

  • extra-virgin olive oil to taste, to drizzle on top
  • a small handful of pomegranate seeds to sprinkle on top
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley to taste, to sprinkle on top
  • sumac to taste, to sprinkle on top

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by roasting the eggplants:

  • Turn the oven on to broil. 
  • Place the rinsed eggplants on a baking sheet. 
  • Poke the eggplants in several places with the tip of a knife, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. Do not peel the skin or remove the stem. 
  • Place the eggplant on the medium rack of your oven and broil for 50 min, turning them every 15 minutes. Keep broiling until the eggplants burst, collapse, and soften. It's normal if some parts are charred, this gives the Mutabbal a nice smoky touch.

Prepare the eggplants:

  • Remove the eggplants from the oven and let them cool down for about 30 minutes, or until they are cooled enough that they can be manipulated.
  • Peel them, remove the stem, and discard any black skins.
  • Transfer the eggplant flesh to a fine mesh strainer or a sieve and let the extra liquid drain, pressing it down to help squeeze the liquid out.

Make the Mutabbal:

  • Add the drained eggplant flesh, grated garlic, Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and salt to a large mixing bowl.
  • Using a whisk, beat dynamically until the eggplant's flesh is no longer stringy, and the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Spread the Mutabbal on a shallow plate, creating swirls and crevices in which olive oil can go. 
  • Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds, chopped parsley, and sumac (or any toppings of your choice).
  • Enjoy with warm flatbreads and a chilled glass of dry Pinot Grigio (see recommendations in the post).

NIM KEYS - USEFUL TIPS

  1. Drain the eggplant flesh - removing the excess water allows for a light creamy texture, without becoming siggy.
  2. Beating dynamically the ingredients with a whisk is the best way to achieve a fluffy, restaurant-style light texture. Just out of the skin, the eggplant flesh is stringy. Beating dynamically with a whisk breaks the strings of flesh while preserving the texture of the roasted eggplants (unlike a food processor). It takes a bit of elbow grease but it's really worth the effort!

NUTRITION

Calories: 157kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 160mgPotassium: 626mgFiber: 8gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 64IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Arabic eggplant dip, eggplant spread, Middle Eastern eggplant dip, moutabal, mutabbal, roasted eggplant dip
Did you make this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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