Moutabel Baba Ghannouj

Moutabel baba ghannouj is a spicy eggplant dish, aka aubergine or brinjal, which has proven cholesterol lowering properties. But it's so delicious I'd eat it any way!

I refuse to eat margarine, it tastes terrible and it's full of those hydrogenated oils that are so dangerous for your nerves. So there's that big toss up! Butter which is bad for your heart, but not bad for your nerves, or margarine that's bad for your nerves, and maybe, a big maybe, is less bad for your heart.

Remember that heart disease was almost unheard of until the last century, just about the time when the food companies in their wisdom started removing the wheat germ (with anti-coagulant vitamin E) from our bread and persuaded us to change from butter to margarine. Yes, heart disease continues to soar. True, stress arrived too in a big way.

Update: I wrote this page about five years ago. Just recently a huge research project has come out, combining the 80 most important research projects on the butter versus margarine controversy. And guess what? Butter is back.

That wheat germ?  Why, it went into hog and chicken food!

Update: Read what a heart surgeon, veteran of more than five thousand open heart surgery has to say. Return to butter? Unthinkable! Foods to reduce inflammation ...

Compromise! Eat Moutabel Baba Ghannouj! ... also spelt Baba Ghanoush! Then you can enjoy some animal fats. (To be honest my blood cholesterol is dangerously low, not just because "she-who-must-be-obeyed" and I eat Moutabel every week. It's also because we love those delish, healthy foods you'll find at Healthy Living Tips every single day.


Eggplant is what the Americans call it; aubergine  by the Europeans and brinjals the Indians. Take your pick, I use all three; they taste and look the same!

Many standard eggplant dishes like ratatouille aren't appreciated by folk. And you must use young, bright and shiny fruit, or they become bitter and nasty.

But moutabel baba ghannouj, with several different spellings, is definitely one of my favourites, and so easy to cook. Eggplant parmesan is another great way of cooking aubergine, but takes rather longer.

It's an amazingly good red meat substitute.

Preparation time

I timed it. Eight minutes. 8. Well, that's not quite true, I forgot the chilli, so the whole lot had to be blended again. So, eight plus one minute, but you wouldn't make that dumb mistake would you!

Eight minutes, that's all it takes, start to finish to make MOUTABEL Baba Ghannouj, from scratch. 


Tahini is a paste made from toasted sesame seeds; it's absolutely delicious and healthy stuff. You can try making it yourself but I find that from the Turkish and Greek shops rather better; the roasting is a bit of an art. It's not expensive; keep in the fridge once opened.

I like tahini on bread and butter, instead of a peanut spread; it has a slightly bitter taste, and no sugar is added as in many other of the manufactured foods. Dip it in and mop up the juices in your salad; with the olive oil, lemon juice, or Balsamic vinegar it's superb.

But most of all I use tahini to make moutabel baba ghannouj and homemade hummus; we use it every single week without fail.

Many of the Middle Eastern stores purchase tahini in bulk from Lebanon or Turkey and decant it into bottles. It's a thick brown paste, not unlike peanut butter, only nicer in my opinion.

It's particular nutritional virtues include very healthy oleic acid that is used to make the fatty coating of most nerves, and two amino acids that are often difficult for vegans to get sufficient of; a deficiency of methionine or tryptophan causes a serious disease called kwashiorkor; it's common in poor countries, but all vegetarians, and especially their children, need to make sure they are getting enough.

Pure healthy delicious goodness!

  1. One aubergine/eggplant/brinjal, washed, shiny-bright skin.
  2. One clove of garlic.
  3. 2 TBSP of Tahini. In Turkey known as Tahin.
  4. Sesame Tahini ... what's that?

    How to Make TAHINI in your own kitchen in two minutes.

  5. A good slosh of Olive oil.
  6. Some like it hot. A slither or two of chilli. Don't forget the chilli for your MOUTABEL Baba Ghannouj!
  7. A good handful of chopped parsley.
  8. A gurgle of yoghurt/ or water. Not the double thick sort, you need the liquid for the blender.
  9. 1/3 of a lemon or lime, pulp and all. Best scoup out the pips. Or, if like me you are forgetful when shopping, hey half an orange or a mandarin/ clemantine/ naartje will do very nicely.
  10. A not-too-generous shake of salt and pepper.

Moutabel Baba Ghannouj

Moutabel baba ghannouj is also known as aubergine in Europe; it has proven cholesterol lowering properties.

Oops, forgot the chilli! Roughly chop your aubergine in two halves. Place in an oven-proof dish. Add the little clove of garlic and microwave for five minutes. 

Update @ Moutabel Baba Ghannouj - this weekend I put the eggplant on the grill with our recipe for sesame chicken and the moutabel is even more delic with a slightly smoky flavour. (Only two minutes in the microwave). 

So, you've got five minutes to kill. Put on the kettle, for a cup of tea. Peel one third of your lemon, pinch a few drops for your tea, and keep the rest for a Tabouleh dish. Know the recipe for Tabouli Tabouleh? Or perhaps some Hummus. That's a Chickpean Garbanzo bean dip that I make EVERY week. Never miss... the basic ingredients of all these Middle Eastern dishes are parsley, tahini, olive oil and lemon.

Tea brewing? Right, wash the parsley, slice off the thicker stalks, and roughly chop. The blender will finish the job. Pitch your parsley into a bowl suitable for blending.

  • PARSLEY BENEFITS ...don't let your randy teenager near the parsley, by the way. Seriously!

Peel one third of your lemon (or an orange), and add to your bowl. By now your Eggplant should be done. Using a sharp spoon, scrape out the cooked pulp and add to your bowl.

Normally, if I was you, I'd let your eggplant cool. I burnt my fingers, trying to beat ten minutes. Moutabel in ten minutes? Mmm, yes I was convinced it could be done. Can it?

Tip in the rest of your ingredients, and blend. Easy.

I did remember to keep back one sprig of parsley. But made another real boo-boo. I forgot the chilli, vital in MOUTABEL Baba Ghannouj!

So, back into the blending bowl, and another quick blend. Not too much chilli, unless you really like it hot. One slither is enough for us. Nine minutes, and I have my Moutabel.

I didn't count the time to clean the blender! But then I went straight on and made a bowl of Olive pate. A bit of aubergine wouldn't do any harm to my Olive pâté.  OLIVE PATE ... a purist? Okay, pâté.  Olive pate is another on the list of our healthy foods, made fast. The only PT is depipping the olives. That takes a few minutes. 

Lemon juice?

The only area where I stray from these traditional Lebanese, Greek, Turkish, and Italian dishes is using the lemon, pulp and all.

It occurred to me some years ago that freshly squeezed orange juice and OJ taste quite different.

Research reveals they are in fact quite different. OJ out of a carton is not far short of a junk food, so it's no wonder they taste so different. It's utterly deficient in the important vitamins and minerals, and phytosterols that make up freshly squeezed orange juice.

I have no doubt the same applies to lemon juice too. NEVER by the way use concentrate lemon juice; it's full of chemicals, and tastes awful. So I use the lemon pulp too. You can't actually taste the difference in your moutabel baba ghannouj, but it's certainly healthier.

That OJ... the worst is that it is has an extremely high Glycemic Index. That means that it's very fattening and gives your pancreas a blood sugar rush.


Jup, I'm sure you guessed it. When I'm dealing all day with serious slipped disks, nasty ankle joint pain, a horrific frozen shoulder I have to be very disciplined, and it's done by the book.

I love cooking, but it's here that I let my hair down. I hate being disciplined and cornered by recipes. If I don't have a lemon, well, how about an orange. Forgot the chili, that's no big deal.

Baba ghannouj without a chilli is fantastic in its own right. No parsley? Mm, I wonder how it would taste with a few slices of cucumber; or a leaf of lettuce or fresh coriander perhaps?

But the tahini? That I can't live without! At SESAME TAHINI ... you'll find a link to how to make your own tahini. Really so easy, at a tenth of the price.

You really do need one of these inexpensive little coffee grinders though for grinding your flax seeds (the best plant source of omega-3) and sesame seeds. Don't eat them whole, they have zero nutritional value if you don't grind them, they pass straight through and you risk getting them stuck in diverticuli...

The oil in sesame seed is great. Not as good perhaps as flaxseed perhaps, but keep focussing on eating from as wide a range of foods as possible. Sesame probably has other unknown advantages over flax. Like the flavour of sesame. Update: read how sesame lowers blood pressure. Proven. Sesame oil benefits ...

PS. If you have high blood pressure, and you missed it, go back to that How to make tahini page above. It's so easy. Perhaps you can get off those pills if your BP is only moderately raised.

Enjoy, have fun, blessings as you enjoy healthy, good, tasty food. Give McD and Kentucky F the miss. You can do it better, tastier, healthier, for a tenth of the price, and a 1000x more healthily in your own kitchen. Go for it! MOUTABEL Baba Ghannouj!


Ah, the other place I can let my hair down is by keeping my alter ego busy. But the editor keeps complaining that I split my infinitives, and I still don't know what that is! Here you can read the first chapter from my next book of anecdotes from the Chiropractic Coalface. Take a tour through Holland: STONES IN MY CLOG ... it's available for only $2.99 on your Kindle, tablet or smartphone, guaranteed hilarious fun, or your money back. STONES IN MY CLOG...

I cover many conditions in Stones in my Clog, pains like SLIPPED DISK ... an everyday condition at the Chiropractic Coalface, but also ANKLE JOINT PAIN ... courtesy of the most dangerous stairs in the world, for which the Dutch along with Rembrandt and tulips are famous, and probably the most painful condition treated in my clinic, a Frozen shoulder ...

Always something bizarre, funny and occasionally tragic. These are fun stories, great bedside reading, one chapter a night. Gems, healthy and funny from the life and work of a chiropractor...

Tip: you need the free Kindle app to read Stones in my Clog, or my latest book A Family Affair on your smartphone.


Successful organic gardening is all about composting and, if you have a tiny garden, this tumbler is perfect, if a little expensive. Use all the raw waste from the kitchen and garden... for the larger garden I recommend the composting methods described on the same link...

Then you can grow your own eggplant for your MOUTABEL Baba Ghannouj. Compact Compost Tumbler and composting from sticks and small logs.

Healthy living tips

Healthy living tips page is for those who have the desire to reach a vital eighty years, with their marbles and joints intact, and taking a minimum of medication.

Not only want these things, but are prepared to initiate some changes in their lifestyle.

For example, taking a brisk 30 minute walk at least three times a week. Don't have the time, or couldn't be bothered? Well, sorry, don't expect to be celebrating your eightieth.

Is that too blunt coming from your chiropractic help guru? Find someone else who has soothing words for you. He's just a click away.

Starting with simple and quick changes like making moutabel baba ghannouj is the way to begin; or perhaps our quick hummus recipe. Or just an apple a day.


At Healthy Living Tips you'll find the reason we take no drugs at all, NONE!, haven't lost our marbles (yet!) and we're feeling younger, and working a darn side harder at 68 than we did at 30! SLOW FOOD, MADE FAST is our slogan.

Well, yes, I should also give my regular Chiropractic adjustment some credit, I guess, but there I have a vested interest and so you wouldn't believe me...

And my bicycle, he gets credit too. It's a rare day I'm not on the bike and if this crazy Dutchman gets in a car once a month it's a lot! That I don't miss one iota. Now my motor-bike, that's another story... I miss ancient BMW like crazy!

Have a good morning, make someone's day, say a prayer or two... thank you Jesus, life's good. Lonely road of faith ...

› Moutabel baba ghannouj

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

Are you looking for a different slant on your pain?

Do you want to pose a question?

Sesame butter dishes

Toasting sesame seeds

  • Authentic hummus recipe ...
  • Calories in hummus

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.

You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.