Thursday, February 12, 2009
Turkish home cooking - my favourite dish
Of all my mother-in-law Sevim's Turkish home cooking this is my absolute favourite. It is called Karnıyarık which means 'split belly'. Sounds a little scary when translated into English but it is so yummy and the split belly being referred to is the belly of the eggplant (and maybe mine after I eat so many of them!).
I actually never have to cook Karnıyarık because Sevim is always sending some home with us - she knows we love it. But I asked her to share the recipe with you all and she proudly obliged. All the measurements are approximate - of course Sevim never uses a recipe, she cooks it by heart.
4 or 5 eggplants - the thinner type are best
Mince -about 250g
Lezzet - literally translated this means 'taste' - it is a spice mix usually made from paprika, pepper, salt, dried tomato powder, grissini flour, semolina, dried parsley and dried thyme -If you can't get lezzet I think some paprika and parsley would be fine.
Large spoon of tomato paste
1. Chop tops and tails off eggplants and put in a large pot. Add enough oil to come about half way up the eggplants. Cook on the stove until the eggplants are soft (making sure you turn to allow all sides to cook).
2. While eggplants are cooking, dice up onions finely, then fry in pan until golden, add mince, salt, pepper and lezzet and cook mince well.
3. Take eggplants out from pot. If they are large chop them in half length ways. Take off a small slice along one side to make a flat base for the stuffed eggplant. Lay the eggplants down in a casserole dish.
4. Slit eggplants down the middle (don't chop through the ends) and fill with mince mixture.
5. In a small bowl mix tomato paste and 1 cup of hot water and then pour this over the eggplants.
Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.
We love to have it with thick slices of bread. This recipe is definitely worth trying (if you don't have a Turkish mother in law to cook it for you that is!).