Roast the eggplant. You will find that roasting over an open flame will produce a smokier, richer flavor. For instructions, click here. Place the roasted eggplant pulp into a bowl with half of the smoky cooking liquid. Discard the skin and reserve the remaining cooking liquid. Let the eggplant return to room temperature.
Add tahini, garlic, fresh lemon juice, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the bowl. Use a fork and/or spoon to mash together the mixture, using firm pressure to break up the tahini paste, roasted garlic, and any stringiness of the eggplant. Mix until well combined. Note- I don’t recommend using a food processor here, the texture is most authentic when using a fork to mash.
Taste the dip. Add additional tahini, lemon juice, salt or cayenne pepper, if desired. The cayenne is extremely spicy, so add with care.
Drizzle the surface of the dip lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Serve as a dip with pita bread, crackers or chips. If you prefer a cold dip, chill in the refrigerator prior to garnish. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.