Sunday, July 1, 2012

Karniyarik (Turkish Meat-Stuffed Eggplant)

4 small eggplants
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup hot water with 1 tbsp crushed tomato

3/4 lb.  ground lamb or ground beef
1 small onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, put aside 4 thin slices, dice the rest
1 small cubanelle pepper, put aside 4 thin slices, chop the rest
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp crushed tomato
3/4 cup hot water

Peel alternating strips of skin lengthwise for each eggplant. Sprinkle salt on top and put aside for about 20 minutes. Squeeze, wash and dry them with a paper towel. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry every side until nicely colored. Cut a slit in each eggplant and scoop out most of the seeds, making sure they don't fall apart. Place them in a clean pan.

Meanwhile cook all the filling ingredients in a small pot on medium heat. All the water should evaporate. Stir constantly towards the end.

Fill the eggplants equally with the filling using a teaspoon. Place the sliced tomato and green pepper on each eggplant. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water with 1 tbsp crushed tomato into the pan from the side. Cover the lid. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.


1. Ground lamb is more common in the actual Turkish recipe, but ground beef works fine, too.

2. I personally like the meat filling with the addition of 1 or 1.5 tablespoons of freshly chopped dill and an equal amount of Italian parsley or cilantro.

3. Any kind of green pepper will do just as well as cubanelles, depending on personal tastes. I'll be using Hatch peppers in the batch I'm making tonight.

4.  They can also have cheese on top during the final stage of cooking; mozzarella or fontina works nicely for this, I've discovered.

5.  Using yogurt as a dipping sauce adds another flavor to the mix; I've also sometimes mixed  a dash (a teaspoon or so) of harissa with the yogurt to spice things up a bit.

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