Mama Ganoush – courgette and tahini dip with tempura courgette flowers

Recipe – serves 4 as a starter

Mama Ganoush is a brilliant way to use your courgette glut. Dress simply with anything you like to add extra crunch and texture. We use our home-grown radishes, dill and coriander and sprinkle with za’atar (Middle Eastern spice and seed blend). Serve as a dip with crisps or crudités or make a fresh Summery starter with pitta bread or crackers.


Mama Ganoush

  • 700g courgettes / zucchini
  • Juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon (Sicilian are the best!)
  • 1 garlic clove or 2 if you like it extra garlicky (we use 2)
  • 70g Tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 bunch coriander – use leaves and stems
  • 45ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch smoked paprika
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • Pinch of toasted ground fennel seeds
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • Za’atar
  • Fresh dill strands
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tempura courgette flowers

  • 6 small courgette flowers
  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Sparkling water – chilled
  • Rapeseed/vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method – Mama Ganoush

This is ideal for grilling on a barbecue to add smokiness but can e done in a domestic grill/oven as below.

Pre-heat grill to 180 degrees (C). Slice courgettes in half, drizzle with a little of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking tin and put under the grill (or directly on the BBQ grill). Keep an eye on the courgettes – you’re looking for slightly-charred skin and soft insides. Turn often for even cooking.

Remove from the grill when done and leave on the side to cool down completely. Meanwhile, wash and chop coriander, stalks and all. Place with all the remaining ingredients and cooled courgettes in a food processor. Blitz until you have a smooth puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Method – Tempura courgette flowers

Mix cornflour, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a clean, dry mixing bowl. Slowly stir in enough cold, sparkling water to create a thin batter. Reserve in fridge until required.

Carefully rinse the courgette flowers (they are very delicate), pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut each flower in half. Put oil in a small pan on the hob so it is deep enough for the flowers. Bring oil to 170 degrees (C) Take the batter from the fridge and dip the courgette flower halves in the batter to fully cover before adding to the hot fat. Do in batches of 3 or 4 at a time so they don’t stick together, the oil stays hot and you have room to turn the flowers with your tongs. The flowers will take 1 minute each side and should be nice a crisp, turn all the way through to ensure even cooking and crispy batter. Remove from oil and place on kitchen paper to drain excess oil, season with salt and pepper to taste.