Burnt Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Sesame Seeds

September 25, 2015

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Sesame Seeds

Autocorrect is awesome at turning your garbled typing into coherent messages.
Except when it's not.
Take for instance my friend Shashi. For the past week or so she asked on more than one occasion how I ‘twerked’ a particular recipe — I know that she meant ‘tweaked’ but clearly her phone was acting on its own volition.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love twerking just as much as the next person (well, not really) but I honestly have no idea how to twerk a recipe.
What are you supposed to do?
Let’s not forget that twerking presupposes dancing in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.
Does that mean that in order to twerk a recipe you take a cookbook and rub your booty against it?
I dunno, I dunno.
I might need to ask Miley Cyrus for guidance...she knows a thing or two about twerking, right?


While we await for Ms Cyrus’ advice, let’s talk about a recipe that doesn’t need tweaking nor twerking. Shall we?
A recipe that combines roasted eggplant flesh with a delicious mix of tahini, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, cucumber, pomegranate arils, and sesame seeds.
The end result is an addictive, creamy, smoky, tart, sweet, salty, and aromatic dip/spread/salad.
It can stand on its own as a dip or condiment or as a side to meat or fish or it can be served as a refreshing Middle Eastern inspired salad.

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Sesame Seeds
Pomegranate and eggplant? Together? Really? That’s quite unique. Believe me, it works.
This dip/spread/salad hits you with a refreshing sweet/sour double dose of pomegranate (molasses and arils)
If you are unfamiliar with pomegranate molasses, as I was, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle.
It’s pretty magic and worth buying a bottle of to play with, when you see it.
Keeps a long time in the refrigerator and you will find lots of uses for it.
If you don’t want to buy the molasses, you can use honey mixed with a little lemon, which produces the same sort of sweet-tart taste.
Or you can sub it with what you like, it’s a recipe not an edict.

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate and Sesame Seeds

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini Pomegranate and Sesame Seeds                                          Print this recipe!
Adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi

Serves 4

1 large eggplan
⅓ cup / 2.5 oz / 70 gr tahini paste
¼ cup / 60 ml water
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (or 1 teaspoon honey mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
Seeds from ½ large pomegranate
1 teaspoon fine grain salt
Ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


To cook the eggplant on a gas stove, line the area around the burner head with foil to protect it.
Put the eggplant directly on the burner over a moderate flame and roast for 15 minutes, turning frequently (use metal tongs), until the flesh is soft and smoky and the skin is burnt all over.
Keep an eye on the eggplant the whole time so it doesn’t catch fire.
To cook the eggplant in the oven, pierce it with a sharp knife in a few places. Put it on a foil-lined tray and place it directly under the broiler for about an hour, turning it a few times. Or until the eggplant is completely deflated and their skin should burn and break.
When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a colander, avoiding the blackened skin. Let drain for at least 30 minutes.
Transfer eggplant flesh to a medium bowl and chop using a fork and knife.
Add tahini paste, water, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper and mix well with a whisk.
Gently fold in cucumber, ¾ of the pomegranate seeds, and half of the sesame seeds.
Take a taste and adjust seasoning.
Scatter the remaining pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds on top, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 208 calories, 14 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of protein.


  1. Haha - ok ...so... I have to be honest with you Mike - it wasn't my phone - it was me - you opened the door to recipe "tweaking" - and my mind went to "twerking" - am sorry - I need to get my mind out of the gutter ...someday! :) Though twerking ON a recipe book isn't what I pictured! I'll stop now!
    I am a huge fan of Ottolenghi and I bet this combo of eggplant, pomegranate molasses, tahini, and pomegranate seeds is wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this no-TWEAK recipe! Hope your weekend is wonderful, my friend!

  2. Okay I'm dying over the image of someone twerking against a cookbook.
    ANYWAY, this is the most interesting recipe! Eggplant and pomegranate - so creative. Looks delicious!

    1. Twerking on a cookbook is somehow a disturbing image...

  3. Well, Mike... as you may imagine (maybe) I had no idea what twerking meant. So I asked Phil - he goes: what food blog are you reading????

    yeah, I guess he was a little surprised, and of course I had a great laugh about it all - twerking... What a word! Nope, I shall never twerk a recipe.


    and this recipe for eggplant definitely doesn't need twerking. It is sexy enough with all its dignity in place ;-)

    1. I'm so proud of being the one who taught you about twerking... :(

  4. Pomegranate and eggplant - perfect combo! I've been using it for ages, and I'm surprised it's an unique one for you haha. Note: pomegranate, eggplant, and walnuts are even better. You've got such a delicious combo here, Mike! Love the addition of tahini - good choice. P.S. the recipe is so impeccable that doesn't require any twerking.

  5. This looks delicious! That pomegranate and eggplant combo is so on point and I love anything with tahini in it. Pinning!

  6. This sounds very interesting and tasty. I love unexpected combinations.

    xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com

  7. Hahaha! So I was afraid you were going to start a Wolfpack tradition of twerking...and I was going to have the unpleasant task of informing you that it would be a tradition of one. But spell check to the rescue! Also, I think you burned your eggplant. You really should watch that more carefully next time. Just kidding, man! This looks delicious! Also, did you see the moon last night? Definitely a howling moon! #WolfpackHowlsNotTwerks

    1. I did saw the moon man and howled for the life of me!

  8. Great post Mike, funny to read and a great recipe too!

  9. I've been eyeballing this recipe in my Plenty cookbook too, and now I absolutely have to make it! P.S. your posts are always hilarious! :)