As we spent a few years in the Middle East, we had many opportunities to enjoy great food from the Region.

Baked eggplant with tahini yogurt sauce is a – very easy to prepare – Middle East vegetarian style dish. It is light and healthy; could be a delicious starter or a side dish. Also, can work well as a lunch meal when you serve it with cuscus, burgul wheat, rice or a good piece of zatar bread (a flat bread similar to pizza bread, but with Arabic zatar spices on top – delicious!).

We have slightly modified this recipe: it has less calories and is easier to digest.

Sumac is one of the ingredients of this recipe. If you are not familiar with this spice take a look at some interesting facts below:

  • Ground sumac is a spice with a tangy lemony flavour, though less tart and more balanced than lemon juice. 
  • Sumac is most often used in Iranian, Lebanese, Turkish and Sicilian cuisine.
  • It is characterized by a sour taste and very often replaces the ingredients that are responsible in the dish or drink for giving a quite sharp taste (lemon, lime, vinegar, tamarind, etc.).
  • It is a natural plant product that is used in many meat and vegetable dishes.
  • The most popular use of sumac is to season kebabs, grilled meat, fish, salads, hummus, stews, yogurt sauces, drinks and marinades. Before baking, the meat is rubbed directly with sumac or a decoction is made, which is brushed when grilling. Decoction can also be used to prepare refreshing salads, spreads, dips and drinks. In addition, sumac is a component of many spice mixes, for example zatar spices.

Try serving your eggplant with some buckwheat penne pasta. It is truly delicious and can be a great dinner idea.

  • preparation: 5-10 min
  • cooking: 25-30 min
  • ready in about: 30-40 min

SERVES 2-4 

  • 2 eggplants medium size (or 4 small)
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Yogurt sauce with tahini paste:

  • 3 tablespoons Greek style natural yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons tahini paste (or 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds ground)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper to taste

on top – to finish dish:

  • 1/2 pomegranate fruit, seeds
  • a few flat parsley leaves, chopped
  • couple of walnuts, chopped (optionally)

1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius / 365 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Cut the eggplant in halves lengthwise.

3. Rub the parts of vegetable with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.

4. Place two halves of eggplant on a baking sheet or on a ovenproof dish.

5. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the vegetable is perfectly soft and baked.

6. Meanwhile, prepare a yogurt sauce with Tahini paste. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a mug or glass with a spoon. You can also blend all yogurt sauce ingredients in electric blender.

7. After roasting eggplants, rub the chopped side with garlic.

8. Top off with a Tahini yogurt sauce, pomegranate seeds, pieces of walnuts and chopped parsley.

TIME:

  • preparation: 5-10 min
  • cooking: 25-30 min
  • ready in about: 30-40 min

INGREDIENTS: 

SERVES 2-4 

  • 2 eggplants medium size (or 4 small)
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Yogurt sauce with tahini paste:

  • 3 tablespoons Greek style natural yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons tahini paste (or 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds ground)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper to taste

 on top – to finish dish:

  • 1/2 pomegranate fruit, seeds
  • a few flat parsley leaves, chopped
  • couple of walnuts, chopped (optionally)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees Celsius / 365 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the eggplant in halves lengthwise.
  3. Rub the parts of vegetable with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Place two halves of eggplant on a baking sheet or on a ovenproof dish.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25 30 minutes until the vegetable is perfectly soft and baked.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare a yogurt sauce with Tahini paste. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a mug or glass with a spoon. You can also blend all yogurt sauce ingredients in electric blender.
  7. After roasting eggplants, rub the chopped side with garlic.
  8. Top off with a Tahini yogurt sauce, pomegranate seeds, pieces of walnuts and chopped parsley.