The most important part of this dish is roasting the eggplant. You can do this on a gas stove-it makes a mess, but the flavor can't be beat. Other options are on a grill, under a broiler, or in a hot oven. The oven is least preferable because it can't give the eggplant the desired slightly charred flavor.
To roast the eggplant, set each eggplant directly on the flame, grill, or grate. (If you're using the oven, set a tray on the rack under the eggplant to catch any drips.) The eggplant will start to crack and give off juices; it should become an ashy grayblack. Turn it as it cooks, but be careful-as it softens under heat, it becomes difficult to move without splitting. When the eggplant is charred gray and very tender all the way through, transfer it to a plate to cool.
Slice off the top of the cooled eggplant, and then cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully remove all the pulp, but avoid any bits of blackened skin. With a fork, stir the eggplant to break up large pieces and add the rest of the ingredients. Taste as you mix and adjust seasoning. Turn the baba ghanouj into a bowl and chill before serving.
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