No.97 Turkish Stuffed Aubergine“Karniyarik”

Many countries in eastern parts of Europe all seem to have stumbled onto the idea that vegetables are great when stuffed with meat. The Greeks to the Hungarians all have their take but my favourite is turkish “Karniyarik”. It is served perfectly with turkish rice, a buttery and rich pilaf.

This is a dish where you do spend a lot of time waiting, however, you can make the mince mixture and bake the aubergines in advance. This makes them easier to stuff and you get your dinner faster.

Time: one and a half hours

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Take your time

4 aubergines

300g lamb mince

1 onion

2 tablespoons of Cumin

4 cloves of Garlic

1 teaspoon of Ground Coriander

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

4 tbsp of Tomato puree

2 peppers

400mls of Vegetable stock

1. Begin by using a vegetable peeler to make 4 diagonal peels lengthwise on the aubergine. Drizzle with oil and bake in an oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius in a deep oven proof tray. This can be done the day before.

2. Meanwhile chop the onion, peppers and garlic finely.

3. Fry of the onion until softening then add the garlic and peppers. Cook until the peppers have softened.

4. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add the lamb mince and fry until browned. Add in salt, pepper, cinnamon, coriander and cumin. Continue cooking for 1 minute.

5. Once the aubergines have had 40 minutes in the oven remove them. Delicately cut a line in the aubergine and stuff the lamb mixture into the aubergine Place back into the deep oven proof tray.

6. Mix the tomato purée with the water and pour around the aubergines. Do not bring the liquid any more than half way up the aubergine. You can always add more during the cooking process. Place the tray back into the oven.

7. Continue baking in the oven for 40 minutes then serve. Half way though the cooking take some of the sauce and pour over the aubergine.

8. Serve with more of the sauce poured over the aubergine and Turkish rice.

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