To prepare pasta (one large plate) you need:
- two large eggplants;
- garlic – a couple of large cloves;
- sesame seed tahina paste;
- half a lemon;
- olive oil to taste.
Eggplant should be quite large: they have fewer grains. In addition, large fruits are more juicy, which means that the paste will turn out to be very juicy.
They must be placed whole, without removing the tails, on the grill grate and fry until tender. When the eggplants are ready, you can tell by the fact that their sides will be blackened, and the rind is hard, burnt and even slightly damaged. The tails will come in handy for holding the eggplant when peeling it, and should also be left so that the juice does not flow out of the vegetable while it is baked on the grill.
Then we remove the eggplants, peel them and knead them with a fork until they become a paste. A tail is also useful for cleaning, because you can hold the eggplant by this tail with your hands – then it will not be so hot.
Garlic grind with salt and add to the resulting mass. It is best to add salt at this stage as it will make it easier to crush the garlic.
Next, add tahini… This is the name of sesame paste. You can buy it in supermarkets, or you can make it yourself. In fact, tahina is only sesame grains fried and chopped in a fine blender with garlic, lemon, olive oil. Since the prepared dish already contains lemon and garlic, in the absence of tahina, you can simply make its simplified version from fried and crushed sesame seeds mixed with olive oil. This is the only ingredient in the mutabal dish that will have to be prepared in advance before sending the eggplants to be baked on the grill.
After adding tahini, the resulting paste is flavored with lemon juice and olive oil. You can spare no oil – this will make the spread even juicier.
If desired, you can put a little chopped greens, for example, parsley, into this eggplant dish, and also add spices to taste – someone loves cumin, someone loves hot pepper.
You can eat pasta simply with lavash or pita, as they do in Arab countries. Plain white or black bread is not very suitable, since thin cakes do not take away the taste of the dish so much. You can make a more interesting snack, for example, spread pasta on sliced slices of grilled courgettes. Mutabal tomatoes are also a delicious snack. You can eat this dish along with fried meat, shish kebab, chicken.
There are many variants of mutabal (also called “babaganush”), when the vegetable is offered to be baked in the oven, but connoisseurs say that it works best if the eggplants are grilled. Therefore, this dish can diversify gatherings with barbecue.
By the way, pasta is suitable for any meat dish. And also mutabal can “lure” a vegetarian to barbecue – after all, apart from yogurt, in this paste all products are only of plant origin.
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