Fermented Baba Ganoush


Right now it is high season for eggplants in my garden. I mostly grill them to be on the healthy side, but I prefer the flavors and texture of tempura or panko-crusted fried eggplants, especially with a dip of ranch dressing mixed with my fermented sriracha sauce.

Probably my favorite dish with eggplants, however, is Baba Ganoush, which is a Middle Eastern eggplant salad. It is like a dip or condiment similar to hummus, in which the eggplant is normally first baked or roasted and then blended down with other ingredients to create a paste.

I’ve been all over the Middle east and never saw a fermented version, but given my obsession with fermenting and surplus of eggplants in the garden, it was pretty clear what had to be done. Unsurprisingly, it’s much more sour than a usual Baba Ganoush, but the texture came out remarkably similar. I didn’t want to roast the fermented eggplant for a few reasons, including of course killing off the probiotics. But I am planning to make another batch which is half fermented eggplant and half roasted, to build up the flavor profile to include the smoky, roasted flavor you normally get.

The following recipe is just for a straight fermented version. I kept it simple; you can tweak it with other spices or additions you want.

It makes about 1 cup of Baba Ganoush (~2 servings); to double the recipe, use a 1/2 gallon ferment jar and double the ingredients.

You will need:


  • 1 lb. eggplants (before peeled and stemmed)
  • 2 cups filtered or distilled water
  • 1 TBSP additive-free salt
  • ~4 cloves garlic

For after the ferment:

  • 2 TBSP pure sesame tahini
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil (plus an extra tsp added to the top when serving)
  • 1 TBSP retained ferment brine
  • 1/2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon (according to taste)
  • ~1 TBSP chopped parsley
  • Salt and/or pepper to taste


1.) Peel and stem the eggplants. Give the garlic cloves a whack with the side of a knife and peel. Rough chop the eggplant and add, along with the garlic, to the jar.

2.) Create the saltwater brine by combining the water and salt in a sealed container and shake vigorously until the salt is visibly dissolved. Add the brine to about 1″ below the jar shoulder. Add the fermentation weight and then cap. Ferment for around 2 weeks.

3.) Once you’re ready to process, strain the brine (and retain at least 1 TBSP). Place the fermented eggplant and garlic into a blender or food processor, along with the olive oil, tahini, retained brine, paprika, and lemon juice. Blend on low for several minutes until texture is smooth and creamy. (If more liquid is needed, add a small splash of either brine and/or lemon juice depending on preference.)

4.) Transfer to storage container or serving bowl and allow to sit overnight in fridge. When serving, garnish with chopped parsley, a sprinkling of paprika, and any other spices or ingredients desired (e.g. cumin, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, thin lemon slices, etc.). You may also add more olive oil to the top. Enjoy with pita chips or wedges.


  1. Hi Daniel, Thanks for your enthusiasm, great recipes and willingness to share. I’ve done fermented beverages for several years and am finally doing veggies. Last week I did a couple of jars of your eggplant for Baba Ganoush. I topped the eggplant with plastic and glass weights, and vacuum sealed. Today I noticed a couple of small dots of mold on top in the brine and a little pink bacteria (?) on the plastic. I removed the mold, washed the plastic and weight, removed eggplant near the top and resealed. Would this still be safe to eat or should I toss it and enjoy the other jar? Thanks for your help.

    • Daniel Berke

      Generally we advise against eating items with mold, but it’s a personal call and anecdotally, many people take steps like you did and everything worked out just fine. Tell me more about the ‘plastic’ you used. Covering things with plastic can create air pockets where mold can form, and can have other disadvantages, depending on what you did. Thanks for the nice comments about the site though and i hope you end up finding some recipes that work out well for you.

  2. Thanks for your response. I used these lids & weights: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BFV9622/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The weights weren’t wide enough to hold everything down so I cut up a Ziploc freezer bag. Then I suctioned out the air. There must have been some air since there were two tiny mold spots in the brine on top and a tiny pink spot on the plastic. I spooned those out, washed weight & plastic and resealed.

    • Daniel Berke

      One strong contender for the root of the problem is this type of lid. I see widespread incidents of mold or kahm yeast formation related to any lid which is silicone-based and/or relies on an air-hole, rather than a water based airlock like those shown and recommended on my site. These are the lids I always use myself. I also periodically use Easy Fermenter lids, which do rely on an air-escape system rather than a water-based airlock, but the product is foodsafe plastic and not silicone. “Pickle pipe” products are silicone based which is porous on a microscopic level and therefore logically leads to higher incidents of mold. I believe the Soligt lids you use are silicone as well. Even if that’s not the case, I believe you’ll have more success with water-based airlocks, as in my experience I’ve seen far more people satisfied with them and mold-free. I’m on the fence right now about ziploc bags used in ferments, even though some of my older recipes mention this method. Ideally, plastics won’t come into contact with fermenting foods. Anyway, this is all just food for thought to hopefully help you avoid such issues as you start fermenting in a greater variety of ways. If you are considering purchasing any new equipment, feel free to look at my recommended essential products list here: https://insaneinthebrine.com/recommended-products/ All the best!

  3. How long does this keep after making it?

    • Daniel Berke

      Once you add the oil and tehina, it is much more prone to rancidification. The lowered pH and lemon juice will help but I wouldn’t recommend eating beyond a couple weeks. Thanks for the comment, I’ll update the recipe with the information.


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