Ottolenghi’s Burnt Eggplant with Tahini & Pomegranate Molasses

This recipe was adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks, Yottam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. Israeli born with distinct Middle-Eastern influences, Ottolenghi won over vegetarians and meat-eaters alike with his long-running column, The New Vegetarian in The Guardian. He found himself in hot water towards the beginning, often suggesting the recipes would go perfectly as the accompaniment to various meat dishes. My often-vegetarian-sometimes-meat-eater friend who suggested it to me said she read the entire thing before realising that it was completely sans animal. This is the first recipe I have officially made from Plenty, and there will be many more to come.

Ottolenghi Burnt Eggplant & Pomegranate

I haven’t followed the recipe exactly, and although I’m sure expertly crafted by Ottolenghi’s team, it is actually a fairly “to taste” affair, where you can add and subtract as you please. I also doubled the recipe to feed my New Year’s Eve guests.


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 a punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers (optional to serve)
  • Seeds from 1 large Pomegranate
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Olive oil to finish
The recipe also suggested parsley, but I left this out.


  1. The recipe recommended putting the eggplant over the top of a gas burner with foil around the base to protect it. To be honest, I have no idea what this means, and as I had access to a perfectly good barbecue outside I figured this would be less fuss. The eggplant should be burnt, so I left it on until the beautiful aubergine colour turned brown and the skin split.
  2. Scrape the soft flesh away from the skin and into a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork to your desired texture, I like it with some chunks intact.
  3. Add the tahini, water, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  4. To serve, I used the same bowl and scattered pomegranate seeds and molasses over the top, as well as a little olive oil. I then chopped slivers of the cucumbers and arranged them around the base as dipping devices.
Voila! Healthy, interesting, and attractive to veges and meat-eaters alike.

Ottolenghi Eggplant

Ottolenghi Burnt Eggplant

Ottolenghi Mashed Eggplant

Ottolenghi Mashed Eggplant & Tahini

Ottolenghi PomegranateOttolenghi Burnt Eggplant & Pomegranate


  • Juanita says:

    I LOVE your blog! I wish I discovered it before my Sydney road trip :) I also love Plenty! Have you made the Black Pepper Tofu?

    • Kitti says:

      I LOVE your comment. :) Come back and do another, Sydney rocks! I have not yet made the Black Pepper Tofu… Maybe my next challenge? Any pointers?

      • Juanita says:

        It’s definitely a recipe that takes a few tries to perfect – but totally worth it. I like to prepare everything before I start cooking (there’s A LOT of chopping/dicing/grinding) and I also like to use 2 pans. One for the shallots and one for the tofu so you can fry the tofu while the shallots mix is cooking. This way, the tofu stays crispier because you don’t have to reheat it for as long in the sauce, you can throw it in at the end for about 15 seconds (just enough to coat it). I also like to add bok choy or a similar green AND unless you’re crazy about spice I tend to (approximately) halve what the recipe suggests but I feel like it’s really flexible recipe in that respect. Phew. That was a lot! But, you should try it and see what you think. Let us know how it turns out for you :)

        • Kitti says:

          Ok done. I shall try that one next! Thanks for the tips. I’m a little (a lot) crazy about spice so perhaps I’ll leave it in…

          Will definitely let you know how I go.


  • Ami says:

    Fantastic starter for a Middle-Eastern themed dinner party…love it!

    • Kitti says:

      Hey Ami,

      I was looking at the dish yesterday and was CRAVING it. Incredible recipe. Will most certianly be making it again ASAP.

      Thanks for reading.


  • Ye-mek says:

    We made this with yogurt also. But it hard to find yogurt in many countries. Nice recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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