Baba Ghanouj and Hummus...two similar recipes but uniquely different

These recipes are equally delicious and simple to make. And while they may look similar their flavors are somewhat different. One, of course, is based on chickpeas (the Arabic word for chickpea is hummus, or hummos) and the other is based on roasted eggplant, which gives the recipe a slightly smokey flavor. If you'd like more Lebanese recipes or to learn a bit more about their fine cuisine, here's a link to a story I wrote many moons ago.

Hummus bil Tahina

3 cups chickpeas
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 cup tahini (sesame butter)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Purée the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor, add the tahini, lemon juice, cold water, salt, and cayenne pepper; purée another minute or two until the mixture is very smooth.

Baba Ghanouj

3 medium eggplant
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt

Split the eggplant lengthwise; brush them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the eggplant cut-side down on a sheetpan and roast at 450 for 20-30 minutes or until the eggplant is very soft. Allow the eggplant to cool to room temperature. When they are at room temperature scoop out the flesh of the eggplant with a spoon and discard the skins. Place the flesh of the eggplant in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes. Place the drained eggplant in a food processor along with the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Puree until the mixture is smooth and thick. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Urban Simplicity