Explore Leiths Diploma Open House – 5th June 2024



Moutabal is a Middle Eastern aubergine dip often served as part of a selection of mezze dishes.


Serves 4

2 aubergines
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
½ lemon, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, to finish


  1. Heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.
  2. Prepare the aubergines by cutting a very shallow incision through the skin of each aubergine, 1–2mm deep, from the stem end to the bottom, every 2–3cm around the aubergine. This will make them easier to peel after cooking.
  3. Place each scored aubergine directly on the gas hob with the heat turned up high (or place under a hot grill). Turn every few minutes using tongs until all the skin is black and blistered, then transfer to a baking sheet.
  4. Brush the unpeeled garlic cloves with a little of the olive oil and put them on the baking sheet with the aubergines. Bake in the oven until the aubergines and the garlic cloves are all completely soft, about 30 minutes. The garlic may be soft before the aubergine, in which case remove it from the tray and leave the aubergines to cook for longer.
  5. Squeeze the garlic cloves to extract the soft interior and discard the skin; set aside until needed.
  6. Once the aubergines are soft, leave to cool a little, then peel off the skin, cut off the stalk and discard. Roughly chop the flesh, put it in a sieve and allow to drain for 15–20 minutes to remove any excess water.
  7. Once drained, place the aubergine flesh in a food processor and add the garlic, remaining olive oil, tahini, yoghurt and pomegranate molasses. Pulse until the mixture is well blended but not completely smooth.
  8. Scoop the mixture into a bowl. Juice the ½ lemon. Flavour the mixture with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve the moutabal garnished with whole or torn parsley leaves.