So, I used quotation mark in the title because baba ganoush, as you may already know, is traditionally made with eggplants. I made a little twist to it, and used sweet potatoes this time.
The traditional baba ganoush is extremely delicious, there is no doubt about that. So in fact, it does not really “need” any twists. But well, life would be really boring if we didn’t try new things!
When I make baba ganoush normally with eggplants, I almost always add some za’atar spice mix in it. It is not a must, but it adds a rich, gritty taste and texture. I added za’atar in this recipe as well. You can make your own za’atar spice mix or you can buy ready mixture from Middle Eastern markets.
I also used sumac in my recipe and a little bit of red pepper flakes to make it slightly spicy. If you want it even spicier, by all means add more red pepper flakes.
Making baba ganoush with sweet potatoes or with eggplants is easy as making many other spreads. The only thing that takes time is roasting the potatoes (or eggplants). After that all you need is a food processor. Enjoy!
2 medium sweet potatoes, about 900 gr., washed and patted dry
a little olive oil to brush the sweet potatoes with
4 tbsp tahini
4 garlic cloves, mashed
juice of 1 medium size lemon
a small bunch of fresh parsley
3 tbsp pomegranate syrup*
3 tbsp za’atar spice mix**
1 tsp sumac*
1 tsp red pepper flakes***, plus a little more as topping
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*You can find pomegranate syrup, za’atar spice mix and sumac in Middle Eastern markets (you can also find sumac in Ruohonjuuri).
**My za’atar mixture consists of sesame seeds, thyme and oregano.
***If you want your baba ganoush spicier, add more red pepper flakes.
1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Trim the two ends of each sweet potato and cut them both to 4 pieces.
3. Put the sweet potatoes on an oven tray with a baking paper with skinny side down. Lightly brush the surfaces of the sweet potato pieces with olive oil. Put in the oven, in medium rack for about 40-45 minutes, until sweet potatoes are very soft.
4. Let the sweet potatoes cool down for about 10 minutes after you take out of the oven, then scoop out the flesh, discard the skins.
5. Put sweet potatoes in a food processor and process for a few minutes to make into a paste (it’s ok if there are some solid pieces still). Scrape the sides with a spatula if needed.
6. Add tahini, garlic and lemon juice and continue to process until they are well blended.
7. Add parsley and pomegranate syrup and process more to blend.
8. Add za’atar, sumac and red pepper flakes and process more to blend. Make sure that there are no big sweet potato pieces left.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with more red pepper flakes and za’atar if you like. You can also drizzle some olive oil. Enjoy with nice, crusty bread.