When I was 19 I had the amazing experience of living in Israel for 9 months. Travelling the whole country from the Golan heights to Eilat , I have hundreds of stories and a million memories.
I spent alot of time in Jerusalem, staying in the Old City for most of it, trying all the traditional food on offer and some of the not so traditional, one place I remember was Bonkers Bagels, freshly made bagels smothered with lox and cream cheese or smeared in Chatzilim typically known as Babaganush or Eggplant dip.
Coming back to New Zealand trying store bought Babaganush after Babaganush I lost all hope of ever finding the smokey slightly tangy creamy dip… until I made my own.
The memories of coming home at 1am after nights of drinking sweet kosher wine or some sort of alcohol that could quite possibly have been petrol, stopping off to get a tub of Babaganush and some slightly stale bagels to help soak up some of the 100%proof … ah to be 19 again.
You don’t have to be an eggplant lover to like this dip, like I said, it is smokey, garlicky, lemony and creamy and oh do delicious!
1-4 Cloves Garlic
2-3 Lemons juiced
Prick the Eggplants all over and place on open flame till they start to blacken- the longer you leave them the more smokey the end dip will be. Place on a rack over a tray in the oven till the Eggplants are deflated and soft, remove from the oven and cover the tray with tinfoil or cling film for 10min. Once the Eggplants have cooled a bit remove the flesh from the chard skin and place in a food processor.
Depending on your tastes add remaining ingredients till you have reached a lovely balance and a creamy consistancy, at this stage the dip is Vegan.
You can leave the dip as is or add in some optional: Natural yoghurt, Mayonaise, Sour cream.
These give a more mellow flavour and make the dip go futher.