This recipe for smoky grilled eggplant is wildly easy to make, highly addictive, and if you haven’t tried whipping tahini, you’re in for a treat.
If you’re new here, two things. 1) I love smoky flavours and, 2) I have a tahini obsession.
If you’re a regular, I’m sorry (not sorry) about publishing another recipe with something smoky and grilled and an obscene amount of tahini.
This recipe for smoky eggplant, charred on a grill pan, and smothered in crispy chilli oil, is served on a plush bed of whipped (yes, WHIPPED) tahini with fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds.
Let’s start with the tahini. Have you ever tried to whip tahini? Honestly, it’s pure magic, and I’m currently mourning all the years I lost applying it with the standard drizzle technique. It’s essentially a cross between cream cheese and sour cream but dairy-free, so far more delightful.
Enough said right? I’m sure you don’t even need to hear about the toasty golden eggplant that’s so tender it’s almost creamy and so smoky it’s basically a sex god . . .
What do you need to know before you make this recipe for smoky grilled eggplant?
- it’s deceptively easy
- you’ll need a grill pan or a gas hob to char the eggplants
- whipped tahini is magic
I’ve included all the additional notes for smoky grilled eggplant recipe at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
- 2 small eggplants
- 2 Tbsp. crispy chilli oil, I used Laoganma
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 fresh red chill, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 small bunch coriander, stalks removed
For the whipped tahini
- 100g / 3.5oz tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 3-4 Tbsp. water
Preheat a cast-iron grill pan on high heat and add the eggplants. Turn the eggplants every 5-10 minutes using a pair of tongs and cook until all sides are charred and tender, 30-35mins approx.
In the meantime, add all the ingredients for the whipped tahini to a large mixing bowl and use electric beaters to whip until smooth, creamy and pale in colour. If the mixture seizes, add an extra tablespoon of water and mix again.
Transfer the eggplants to a bowl and cover. Allow the eggplants to steam in the covered bowl for 5mins or until cool enough to handle. Gently remove the charred skin from the eggplant, being careful of any steam pockets that may burn your fingers.
Spread the whipped tahini over the base of a serving dish. Drizzle the peeled eggplants with chill oil, making sure they are well coated, and transfer to the serving dish. Garnish with sesame seeds, fresh chilli and coriander leaves.
NOTES: smoky grilled eggplant with chilli oil and whipped tahini
Not all tahini is created equally! The best tahini should be pourable, incredibly smooth and has a very neutral, slightly salty taste. Anything that is thick and pasty or tastes like toasted sesame should be vehemently avoided. The best place to find decent tahini is a Middle Eastern Grocery store. I always look for the Lebanese SH Yaman tahini or the Al Nakhil tahini.
The chilli oil I used is not simply oil infused with chilli. I recommend the kind of chilli oil that is commonly used in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine. I used the Laoganma chilli oil, which is packed with flavour and contains fermented soybeans, Sichuan pepper and onion.
Can I make this recipe without a grill pan?
Yes if you have a gas hob you can char the eggplants directly on the flame or you can char them on a BBQ.
Can I whip the tahini by hand?
I haven’t tried but I’m sure it’s possible if you have the patience (and upper body strength).