Feature my Food Friday: Introducing Amina Elshafei and her Baba Ghanoush (& a Giveaway)

Today in Feature My Food Friday, let me introduce Amina Elshafei, who was a contestant in Masterchef Australia 2012. Amina has a Korean mother and an Egyptian father. With such a unique gastronomic heritage, Amina wrote a cookbook that combines these two varied cuisines. If you have not seen her cookbook, Amina’s Home Cooking yet, you should have a look. The recipes are mouth-watering, have an average of 4 to 6 steps (maximum 9) and the photography by Luisa Brimble is inspirational.

Over to you, Amina!

Tell us about you.

Amina Elshafei - photo credit Luisa Brimble
I’m the eldest daughter of two girls, brought up in a multicultural family of a South Korean mother and Egyptian father. Both my sister and I were born in Saudi Arabia and immigrated to Australia in the late 80s. I’ve been a paediatric nurse for the past 7 years in Sydney. Thanks to a lot of encouragement from my sister Eman, I took the step to apply for Masterchef Australia 2012 and it certainly has opened a lot of doors for me in the food world!

 

Photo credit: Luisa Brimble

Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?

The cultural foods of both of my parents have given me a wide spectrum of understanding, learning and cooking both Egyptian/Middle Eastern and Korean cuisines. Watching my parents cook over the years has provided not only inspiration but a lot of sentiment in the food that I grew up with. Living in Australia, the exposure to multicultural food is amazing and inspirational to try new flavours and cuisines.

Is there anything you would not touch even if you were given £1,000 to eat it? 

Oh dear… where to start… Definitely wouldn’t touch any type of spiders even for more money, ha ha!

Can you give us an anecdote about food?

When I was younger (around 13) I wanted to try a ‘microwave’ cake recipe since I was banned from using the oven or stove unsupervised. Made the batter and popped the cake mixture in the microwave, five minutes later I hear a loud bang and the microwave was on fire! Never making microwave cake ever again… actually any microwave recipes!

What is your favourite way to share your recipes?

I especially love get-togethers with friends and family and eating home cooked meals. Whilst eating, I love moments when we all share our recipes, tricks and secrets and enjoying the company. Since being on Masterchef Australia, I also have loved doing food demonstrations in particular cooking classes showing and teaching people my recipes.

Could you share a couple of tips that make your life easier in the kitchen?

  • Pop on some funky tunes whilst in the kitchen and make it fun!
  • When making salads, try and use fresher ingredients as well as optimising seasonal ingredients
  • Good quality pans and pots can make a difference in your cooking, both quality and time
  • If you have a busy schedule, try and make a little more and store the meal in the fridge or freezer for another time

1 thing no one should ever do in the kitchen:

  • Always have sharp knives in the kitchen. If your knives are blunt, buy a suitable knife sharpener, or if you’re good mates with a butcher, let them teach you or even sharpen them for you! Knife accidents can be pretty horrible!

Which recipe did you choose to share and why?

Baba Ghanoush is my family’s favourite dip.

Baba Ghanoush - photo credit Luisa Brimble- photo credit Luisa Brimble

Photo credit: Luisa Brimble

It is important to cook the eggplant / aubergine over an open flame to ensure you get the smoky flavour achieved by charring the skin – otherwise the eggplant flesh will be flavourless. This dip is especially delicious with roast or barbecued lamb. If you are having a barbecue, cook the eggplants / aubergines before the meat; that way, you can complete the dip by the time the meat is cooked. Always use large eggplants / aubergines; they have a lot more flesh and are much easier to skin than small ones.

Print

Baba Ghanoush

Recipe from Amina’s Home Cooking by Amina Elshafei Photo credit: Luisa Brimble Makes about 2 cups (560 g)
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggplants / aubergines
  • ¼ cup olive oil 60 ml
  • ½ cup tahini 140 g
  • ½ cup lemon juice 125 ml
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Virgin olive oil to drizzle
  • Flatbread to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut deep slits into the eggplants / aubergines. Using tongs, place the eggplants / aubergines over an open flame, turning every few minutes until the skin blackens and blisters (about 6 to 8 minutes).
  3. Place the charred eggplants / aubergines on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the flesh is soft. If you are using a barbecue, place the eggplants / aubergines over medium heat, turning every few minutes until they are cooked through and soft.
  4. Cover the eggplants / aubergines tightly with plastic film and leave to cool to room temperature. As soon as the eggplants / aubergines are cool, carefully peel away the skins.
  5. Place the peeled eggplants / aubergines, olive oil, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. Mix in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Serve with flatbread.
  6. This dip can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Thanks for sharing, Amina! I love your style, your passion for sharing good food and your tips. I also try to batch-cook as much as possible to save food for busy days. I would not touch spiders either, especially the big ones you have in Australia!

Fancy seeing your recipe on Feature my Food Friday? Whether you are a keen baker, a blogger or a reader who would like to see their creation online, I would love to feature you! Just email me and I will send you more details.

You could win a copy of Amina’s cookbook.

How to enter the giveaway:
Check the instructions in the form below. You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment, answering the following question: What is your favourite dip? You must also leave a comment for your entry to be valid.

Entries are open until 23.59 p.m. GMT time on 08 December 2015. Good luck!

Amina’ Home Cooking

Disclosure:
– I received Amina’s cookbook free of charge and I loved it. Amina was kind enough to take part in Feature My Food Friday and offer a cookbook for this giveaway.
– The giveaway is open to UK residents over 18.

I have listed this giveaway on ThePrizeFinder, SuperLucky and Loquax.

 

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Comments

  1. I love houmous as a dip!

  2. Tracey Peach says:

    I don’t have a favourite dip it’s not something I eat often

  3. Sour cream and chive

  4. kellyjo walters says:

    beetroot hummus

  5. laura banks says:

    sour cream and chives

  6. Chilli humours

  7. I adore houmous and have loved tahini since an extended holiday period in Egypt some years ago

  8. Spencer Broadley says:

    A garlic cheesie dip

  9. Emma W says:

    I love salsa!

  10. Keri Jones says:

    Houmous is my favourite, next to Camembert 😉

  11. Karl Borowy says:

    humous

  12. Margaret Clarkson says:

    I love tzatziki and remember first having it on a wonderful Greek holiday.

  13. Margaret Gallagher says:

    My favourite dip has to be garlic and mint-love it on its own even xx

  14. Laura Nice says:

    Houmous is my favourite!

  15. Gerri Tennant says:

    Guacamole – I love the colour and taste.

  16. melanie stirling says:

    Barbeque sauce.

  17. lynn savage says:

    My favourite is guacamole

  18. mazgoli says:

    Kashke Bademjan is a Persian dip quite similar to the Baba Ghanoush here and absolutely delicious.

  19. Lyndsey Jones says:

    My boyfriend is originally from Iran so we love experimenting with Persian and middle eastern food. My favourite dip is a smokey aubergine & garlic dip called Mirza Ghasemi – its delicious with warm flat bread. Nom x

  20. I’m a sucker for Houmous, but I love baba ghanoush!

  21. ashleigh allan says:

    houmous!

  22. Kay Panayi says:

    I eat humous every day

  23. I love sour cream and chive dip, could eat it with everything! 🙂

  24. Charlotte Hood says:

    I’ve never tried baba ganoush but I think I would love it! My favourite at the moment is tzatziki 🙂

  25. Houmous – but having read that recipe Baba Ghanoush looks delicious, love the tip about charring the aubergines too

  26. iain maciver says:

    sour cream and chives

  27. I like Houmous with a bit of fire, so added finely sliced hot peppers or chillis

  28. Lisa Pond says:

    I love salsa! ?

  29. sarah rees says:

    garlic and herb

  30. gemma brown says:

    chunky humous

  31. Natalie Crossan says:

    Humous 🙂 xx

  32. laura stewart says:

    garlic mayo xx

  33. Tracey Parker says:

    Houmous

  34. Salsa

  35. Mrs Sam Goodwin says:

    Houmous is my favourite dip!!

  36. caroline walliss says:

    Houmous.x

  37. Helen Gossage says:

    I love salsa

  38. leanne weir says:

    i love garlic mayo

  39. It has to be hummus – part of my family is Turkish Cypriot, so that would explain why! 🙂

  40. Fat Red Pepper Houmous

  41. Jackie ONeill says:

    red pepper houmous

  42. Hassni says:

    A butternut and harissa houmous.

  43. darren hay says:

    Garlic Mayo

  44. Jo m welsh says:

    Sour cream and chive

  45. Oh, houmous is probably my favourite dip. Or….Nutella haha. Lovely giveaway, I love new cookbooks.

  46. Anne-Marie Wigley says:

    a creamy garlic dip nom!!

  47. Philip Darling says:

    Sour Cream and Chives

  48. Ray Becker says:

    Anything garlic

  49. Jim M says:

    Hot Chili Salsa

  50. Such a tough question! It’s a toss up between guacamole, baba ghanoush and houmous. Please never ask me to decide!!

  51. Caroline H says:

    My favourite dip is tsatsiki, with cucumber and carrot sticks and pitta fingers to go with it.

  52. C Kennedy says:

    Definitely houmus! I love toasting a pitta bread and dipping bits of that in it, yum

  53. fozia Akhtar says:

    sour cream and chive

  54. Holly Boyd says:

    Red Pepper Humus is my favourite

  55. Garlic dip is my fav

  56. Maxine G says:

    Whipped goat cheese and chive is a lovely dip

  57. Love roast pepper and garlic hummus

  58. Stephanie Whitehouse says:

    Yoghurt and garlic with lots fresh herbs

  59. Paul Scotland says:

    Blue cheese dip

  60. Rebecca England says:

    I like dips generally including aubergine. I love hummus and tzatziki too

  61. Cheese and chive dip

  62. Sally Collingwood says:

    Sour cream and chives

  63. marie powell says:

    Garlic and Cheese always wins with me xx

  64. Rachel Butterworth says:

    Sour Cream and Chive.

  65. Robyn Logan Clarke says:

    Salsa

  66. Michelle O'Neill says:

    i love salsa x

  67. lisa tebbutt says:

    CHILLI JAM

  68. Steve Dickinson says:

    Mint Raita

  69. Stevie says:

    It’s mayonnaise for me.

  70. Megan Kinsey says:

    Either hummus or balsamic vinegar with olive oil!

  71. shell says:

    sour cream and chive

  72. Tammy Tudor says:

    I love garlic sauce/butter

  73. carole n says:

    salsa for me

  74. Scott Fallon says:

    Anything spicy

  75. Karen Lloyd says:

    I love a creamy garlic and onion dip.

  76. lyndsey says:

    anything creamy

  77. kate kathurima says:

    chilli hummus

  78. Lauren Old says:

    Red pepper hummous

  79. Catriona Hutchinson says:

    Raita 🙂

  80. Amy Rennocks says:

    Sour Cream and Chives <3

  81. EJ Dunn says:

    Baba Ganoush funnily enough!

  82. Louise Hutchings says:

    Hummous

  83. Julie Ward says:

    Garlic dip

  84. I love hummus.

  85. Victoria B says:

    Salsa

  86. Claire Stewart says:

    Red pepper hummus

  87. Jo McPherson says:

    Spicy Hummus

  88. Dawn Hull says:

    Salsa is my favourite.

  89. Solange says:

    Sour cream and chives

  90. Charmian Filewood says:

    sour cream and chive

  91. Jenny says:

    Sour cream and chive.

  92. Garry says:

    Anything with garlic

  93. dips yummy

  94. Jamie Gallant says:

    I like Salsa

  95. Lovely

  96. This looks like a lovely book and I would like to be more adventurous.

  97. Sour cream and chive

  98. Mango chutney

  99. Caroline Blaza says:

    I love hot salsa dips x

  100. Caroline Bourne says:

    Mine is aioli

  101. Kim Styles says:

    I love a guacamole dip !

  102. Karen Louise wright says:

    Barbecue Sauce

  103. Lyndsey Beckford says:

    My favourite dip is salsa 🙂

  104. Pam Francis Gregory says:

    Yogurt Mint dip

  105. Elizabeth Gurney says:

    I love humus and garlic & onion dip. Could eat the stuff all day!

  106. Hummus

  107. Laura Vitty says:

    Taramasalata

  108. Betony Bennett says:

    Taramasalata 🙂

  109. caroline kelly says:

    Sour cream and chive

  110. Vicki Violet Morris says:

    Recently tried red Mojo sauce in the Canary Islands and got a recipe from one of the restaurants and I have it all the time!

  111. Kristy Leanne Brown says:

    I love hummus as a dup – but also garlic philly

  112. Allan Wilson says:

    Beetroot Hummous

  113. katie w says:

    garlic and herb

  114. jemma dwyer says:

    garlic for me 😀

  115. don erwood says:

    Tzatziki for me.. yum

  116. Rhiannon Alwen says:

    I’m a bit of a salsa girl myself. Maybe a bit boring, but I love tomatoes.

  117. I’m a sucker for anything salsa….x

  118. Rebecca Howells (@PeanutHog) says:

    I love them all! Humous and salsa are my fav! (@PeanutHog)

  119. Emilia nastaly-howard says:

    Red pepper humous 🙂

  120. Karen Howden says:

    Garlic and herb

  121. Chris Fletcher says:

    baba ganoush is awesome! I will definitely be trying out this recipe!

  122. kelly morgan says:

    guacamole

  123. sour cream and chives

  124. mango chutney

  125. Melissa Lee says:

    I love any kind of houmous

  126. Mickie Bull says:

    Skinny Dip! *giggles*

    or if that doesn’t count, chive and onion!

  127. Salsa

  128. Tracey Brookshaw says:

    My favourite dip is homemade Hummous

  129. Karen Dixon says:

    Sour cream and chive

  130. Kirsty Woods says:

    Cream cheese and herb dip

  131. Does Mayonnaise count? 😉

  132. Kirsty Fox says:

    Cheese and Chive

  133. Guacamole

  134. Joanna Sawka says:

    salsa dip

  135. Rich Tyler says:

    I love mango chunt!

Thanks for taking the time to write a little message. Comments always make me smile! x Mel