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Baba Ghannouj (Eggplant Dip)

1 large round eggplant (aubergine)

2 or 3 cloves of garlic

60 milliliters (3 oz., 4 Tbs.) tahina

60 milliliters (2 oz., 4 Tbs.) lemon juice

salt, red pepper

olive oil

chopped parsley

slices of red bell pepper to garnish

Cook the eggplant in a hot oven or on a fork over the flame of a gas stove. When it is well cooked through and the skin is blackened, douse with cold water, peel and chop into small pieces. Mash two or three cloves of garlic to a paste with about the same volume of salt. Add eggplant, mash to a smooth consistency and blend the tahina and lemon juice to make the Arab version of this dish; omit the tahina for the Turkish version. Serve in a bowl with little olive oil on top and garnish with chopped parsley, red pepper slices and a dusting of red pepper. Serves five.