Chef Yves Lafond is the executive chef behind the expert culinary creations at all five of the restaurants at Anantara’s Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. Specialising in French and Arabic fusion, his favourite recipe is a simple dish of moutabel. Here is his recipe for the famed dish, renowned throughout the region.
“I love this dish because of its flavour combination of lemon, garlic, mint and aubergines because it is easy to make at home and makes a great dip for homemade pitta chips or grilled meat at a weekend barbeque”
2 large aubergines
6 cloves of garlic, pureed
200ml tahina (sesame seed puree)
½ tsp lemon salt
½ tsp salt
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp freshly chopped mint, to garnish
5-6 pomegranate seeds, to garnish
1 Light a small charcoal barbecue or preheat the oven to 180C.
2 Using a small knife, score the skin of the aubergines evenly around about 10 or 12 times, so that they are about 2 ½ cm deep.
3 Roast the aubergines either on a medium heat over the barbecue or place in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the aubergine is soft and squishy to touch.
4 Remove from barbecue or oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
5 Slice the aubergines in half.
6 Scoop the pulp out onto a baking tray, spreading it so that it cools faster, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely.
7 Place the cooled aubergine pulp into a bowl.
8 Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until smooth. Refrigerate until required.
9 Garnish with mint, pomegranate seeds and extra virgin olive oil.
This recipe calls for lemon salt which is available at any speciality market, but lemon juice can also be used. However, with lemon juice the moutabel will go sour after a day or two and is only advisable if you are intending to consume it the same day.