Mutabal is a smoky Middle Eastern eggplant dip that is simple to make. Pair it with pita or raw veggies for the perfect healthy and satisfying appetizer that's ready in just 30 minutes!
I don't know when I first discovered this smoky eggplant dip, but anytime I go to a Middle Eastern restaurant, it's ordered immediately.
Mutabal is a smooth and creamy dip that is also smoky, garlicky, nutty, and very healthy (naturally gluten-free and you can easily make this recipe vegan), so you can eat a lot of it without pause.
The key to getting a smoky flavor in your dip is roasting your eggplant close to the heat source. In this recipe, I broiled my eggplants, but you can also blacken them over a gas burner or place them on the grill.
You want the eggplant skin to look charred so that the skin can be easily removed. This Middle Eastern dip makes a great snack or addition to your party platter!
👩🏻🍳 Why This Mutabal is the Best
- A deep, smoky and garlicky flavor is combined with a smooth and creamy texture. You won't believe how a simple dip can create such complex flavor!
- A quick and easy recipe that takes mere minutes of prep time once your eggplants are charred.
- Healthy and nutritious, with just a few ingredients, and eggplants taking center stage. Tahini paste and yogurt add protein, but you could easily omit the yogurt or use a plant-based brand.
- Mutabal makes a great snack or addition to your festive party platter.
🍆 Ingredient Notes
- Eggplant - The star of this recipe. Use 2 large Italian eggplants or 4 smaller Japanese eggplants.
- Tahini paste - Provides nutty flavor, protein, and added creaminess.
- Yogurt - Makes eggplant dip extra creamy. I recommend using full-fat or 2% yogurt, but you could also make it vegan by using plant-based yogurt.
- Lemon juice - Citrus adds freshness and brightens up the dip.
- Garlic and fresh parsley - Aromatics pair well with the tahini and smoky eggplant.
🔪 How To Make Mutabal - Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
Prep eggplants: Pierce eggplants all over with a fork and place on a large baking sheet.
Place under broiler: Turn broiler to the highest setting, and place eggplants under broiler for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the skin turns black and the flesh is softened. Let the eggplants cool down for 10-15 minutes.
Remove skin: Use a sharp knife to remove the skin off of eggplants (this should be very easy to do at this stage).
Puree: Chop the flesh and add it to a food processor or blender. Add tahini paste, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and salt, and blend until smooth. If using cayenne, cumin, and paprika, add and blend for an additional 30 seconds.
Garnish and serve: Transfer dip to a serving platter and garnish with parsley and olive oil. Serve with pita or crudité.
⏲️ Expert Tips
- To ensure beautifully smoky eggplants, grill them directly over an open flame or under a broiler. You can also roast your eggplants for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F, but they won't taste as smoky. However, you can add liquid smoke to create a smoky flavor.
- Poke holes all over your eggplants to avoid exploding eggplant.
- How to store: Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- How to freeze: You can freeze this dip but the texture may change after being frozen. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Make vegan: Mutabal is not traditionally vegan, but you can easily make this recipe vegan by either using a plant-based yogurt or omitting the yogurt altogether (it will still be delicious!).
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Moutabal is a traditional Middle Eastern dip made with smoked eggplant.
No, baba ganoush typically contains tomato, pomegranate molasses, and herbs like parsley. Baba ganoush is more like a salsa with its additions, and mutabal is predominantly earthy, smoky eggplant, with tahini and yogurt. There are regional variations, but they both start with roasted eggplant.
Mutabal is usually served as part of a mezze/meze platter containing lots of small plates. Traditionally, flatbread, olives, hummus, nuts, and veggies like cucumbers and carrots are included.
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Mutabal-Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
- Food processor or blender
- 2 eggplants
- ¼ cup tahini paste
- ¼ cup full-fat or 2% yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (for garnish)
- ¼ teaspoon each: cayenne pepper, ground cumin, smoked paprika (optional)
- Pierce eggplants all over with a fork and place on a large baking sheet.
- Turn broiler to the highest setting, and place eggplants under broiler for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the skin turns black and the flesh is softened.
- Let the eggplants cool down for 10-15 minutes.
- Use a sharp knife to remove the skin off of eggplants (this should be very easy to do at this stage).
- Chop the flesh and add it to a food processor or blender. Add tahini paste, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and salt, and blend until smooth. If using cayenne, cumin, and paprika, add and blend for an additional 30 seconds.
- Transfer dip to a serving platter and garnish with parsley and olive oil. Serve with pita or crudité.