beef,  main course

Meat stuffed eggplants (Karniyarik)

These meat stuffed eggplants (Karniyarik) are a Turkish dish, incredibly flavorful and tasty. Traditionally, this dish is made with lamb but beef goes also very well. There is also a vegetarian version called Imam Bayildi and inn this case the eggplants are stuffed with tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, garlic and herbs.
These delicious meat stuffed eggplants are quite easy to prepare. You have to cut the eggplants into halves, lengthwise, and scoop out the center pulp. Then you have to roast the eggplant shells for a few minutes on both sides. I recommend you to roast the eggplant into the oven because you will need less vegetable oil.
To prepare the stuffing you have to sauté the onion and the bell pepper, then add the meat and cook until cooked through. Add the eggplant pulp and continue to cook until tender.
Then stuff the eggplants with this mixture and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
You may serve these delicious meat stuffed eggplant for lunch or for dinner. They are absolutely delicious topped with sour cream or plain yogurt.

Ingredients for meat stuffed eggplants (Karniyarik)

– 3 eggplants (about 1 kg)
– 500 gr ground beef
– 1 onion
– 1 bell pepper
– 4-5 garlic cloves
– 2 tablespoons tomato paste
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 bunch of fresh parsley
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– salt and pepper to taste
For sauce:
– 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
– 1 bay leaf
– salt and pepper to taste
– about 300ml water
Optional: 1 large tomato for the top (or a few cherry tomatoes)



How to make meat stuffed eggplants (Karniyarik)

Rinse and cut the eggplants into halves, lengthwise.
Use a small and sharp knife to cut around the center of the eggplant, leaving about 0.5 cm on the edges. Then use a teaspoon to scoop out the center pulp. Leave about 0.5 cm on the bottom and on the edges. Cut the pulp into smaller pieces and set aside.
Sprinkle the eggplants shells with salt and allow to rest for about 30 minutes. Salt will help the water to come out.
Meanwhile prepare the stuffing.
Finely chop the onion and place it into a skillet along with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Cook, stirring often, until glossy. Add chopped bell pepper and continue to cook until soft. Add the meat, season with salt, pepper and dried thyme and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Add the eggplant pulp and continue to cook until soft.



Add the tomato paste and crushed garlic and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add chopped parsley. Set aside.
Drain the eggplant shells and brush with vegetable oil on both sides. Place the eggplant shells into a slightly greased baking dish and bake at 200ºC for about 3 minutes, then turn the eggplants on the other side and bake for another 3 minutes.
Prepare the sauce by mixing 3 tablespoons tomato paste and about 300ml water. Season with salt, pepper, dried thyme and dried rosemary. Add 1 bay leaf. Pour the sauce into a baking dish.
Place the eggplant shells into the baking dish and fill them up with the meat mixture. Top with tomato slices.
Place the meat stuffed eggplants into the preheated oven and bake at 180ºC for about 30 minutes.
Serve these delicious meat stuffed eggplants warm, topped with sour cream or plain yogurt.
Enjoy!

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