The Whole Baba – Hab Shifa

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The Whole Baba


  • 3 large eggplant, green top removed and pricked all over with a sharp knife
  • 60 ml(¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled (1 finely sliced, 1 left whole)
  • sea salt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • handful mint leaves, torn


Standing time 45 mins

Place the eggplant over charcoal or in the ashes of a barbecue and cook, turning occasionally, until completely blackened, starting to collapse and very soft inside. Remove from the coals and place into a colander over a bowl to drain the excess liquid.

Place the olive oil and sliced garlic clove in a small saucepan over low heat. As soon as the garlic shows any sizzle, remove from the heat and set aside for garlic to infuse.

In a small mortar and pestle, pound the whole garlic clove with a good pinch of salt until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl, then add the tahini, 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Whisk together well – you may need to add more water or lemon juice. Check for seasoning.

Peel the eggplant carefully, discarding the skin and keeping as much of the flesh as possible. Place in a deep dish and season with salt. Spoon over the garlic infused oil and stand for at least 45 minutes.

Transfer the eggplant to a serving plate. Spoon over the tahini sauce. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and mint and serve.