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
2 onions
Mince -about 250g
Salt, Pepper
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!).


renai said...

V, it looks delish!! I might give it a go. My MIL cooks it also and is sooo tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

Simple Answer said...

What is mince?

Anonymous said...

I love eggplant and that recipe looks gorgeous!

Verity said...

Hey Simple Answer - I meant minced meat - I think she uses minced lamb but I'm sure beef would be fine too. said...

I just ran across your blog.. Karniyarik is also my favorite Turkish meal! My boyfriend taught me to make it while we were here in the US but made in Turkey it is even better. Their spices and foods just seem to have more taste!

Anonymous said...

Mmm...we have a version on our menu at Kamel at the moment. Mark is adding some finely chopped walnuts to the lamb mince and then topping it with some crumbled feta before giving it a light grill. It is one of best sellers at the moment. xx