How to make a Vegan Turkish Stuffed Eggplant.
INGREDIENTS: Serves 4
- 4 aubergines
- 500 g finely diced onions
- 5 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 500 g finely diced tomatoes
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil (for frying the aubergines)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (for sautéing the onions)
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt (adjust it to your taste)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
For the Tomato Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ⅔ cup water
- Peel the aubergines in stripes to resemble a zebra pattern.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil and fry the aubergines until they start to soften but still have a bit of firmness, turning occasionally.
- Alternatively, brush the aubergines with a generous amount of olive oil and either roast in a pre-heated oven at 200 °C until starting to soften, for around 30 minutes, or in an air fryer at 200 °C for 15 minutes.
- Leave them on a colander to get rid of the excess oil and proceed to prepare the filling.
- Use the same pan you fried the aubergines for making the filling.
- Get rid of the excess oil if there is any or add a tablespoon of olive oil if there is no oil left in the pan.
- Put the pan on medium heat, add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent without browning them.
- Stir in the garlic and sauté for another minute, stirring continuously, without burning the garlic.
- Add the tomatoes, salt and black pepper, stir well and let them cook for 5-6 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Stir occasionally to avoid it catching the bottom.
- Sprinkle on the chopped parsley, stir well and take the pan off the heat.
Stuff the Aubergines and Bake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180° C.
- Make a cut lengthwise in the aubergines, leaving 2 cm at both ends, without piercing through the bottom.
- Season them with some salt.
- Carefully stuff the aubergines with a help of a spoon.
- Try to fit in as much filling as possible, piling them up a little bit if necessary.
- Place the aubergines on a baking dish stuffed side up.
- To make the sauce, mix one teaspoon of tomato paste with ⅔ cups of water and pour this over the aubergines.
- Cover the oven dish with a lid or tin foil and place it in the oven.
- Bake the aubergines for an hour and then remove the lid/tin foil.
- Add more water if it looks a little dry and bake them for another 30 minutes or until the aubergines are completely soft.
- Alternatively, you can cook them in a pan.
- After filling the aubergines, place them in a pan stuffed side up.
- Put a lid on the pan and cook them over low heat for an hour or until the aubergines are completely soft.
- Check the pan occasionally and add more water if it looks a little dry.
- Let them cool completely and garnish with some chopped parsley and fresh tomato slices before serving.
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