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Eggplant Appetizer (Baba Ghannuj)

Origin: Syria

Ingredients:

* 1 Large eggplant
* 1 Clove garlic
* Salt to taste
* 4 tbsp Tahini
* 1/4 cup Water
* 1/4 cup Lemon Juice, depending upon desired tartness
* Simmaq, Optional
* 1 tbsp Olive oil, optional

Preparation:

Egg plant may be baked or grilled over a flame until well done-- the latter is preferable. Place eggplant in bowl and remove the skin carefully, preserving the liquid. Chop fine.
Mash garlic with salt. Add tahini and blend thoroughly, slowly add water, mixing well. Add lemon juice and thoroughly blend. Pour sauce over chopped eggplant. With a potato masher or large wooden mallet pound, mash and blend the ingredients.
Garnish edge of serving dish with parsley, placing a small mound in the center, or garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.

Optional: pour small amount of olive oil over top, sprinkle simmaq.

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