Vegan Turkish Stuffed Eggplant

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

METHOD:

  1. Peel the aubergines in stripes to resemble a zebra pattern.
  2. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the olive oil and fry the aubergines until they start to soften but still have a bit of firmness, turning occasionally.
  4. 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.
  5. Leave them on a colander to get rid of the excess oil and proceed to prepare the filling.
  6. Use the same pan you fried the aubergines for making the filling.
  7. 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.
  8. Put the pan on medium heat, add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent without browning them.
  9. Stir in the garlic and sauté for another minute, stirring continuously, without burning the garlic.
  10. Add the tomatoes, salt and black pepper, stir well and let them cook for 5-6 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.
  11. Stir occasionally to avoid it catching the bottom.
  12. Sprinkle on the chopped parsley, stir well and take the pan off the heat.

Stuff the Aubergines and Bake:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180° C.
  2. Make a cut lengthwise in the aubergines, leaving 2 cm at both ends, without piercing through the bottom.
  3. Season them with some salt.
  4. Carefully stuff the aubergines with a help of a spoon.
  5. Try to fit in as much filling as possible, piling them up a little bit if necessary.
  6. Place the aubergines on a baking dish stuffed side up.
  7. To make the sauce, mix one teaspoon of tomato paste with ⅔ cups of water and pour this over the aubergines.
  8. Cover the oven dish with a lid or tin foil and place it in the oven.
  9. Bake the aubergines for an hour and then remove the lid/tin foil.
  10. Add more water if it looks a little dry and bake them for another 30 minutes or until the aubergines are completely soft.
  11. Alternatively, you can cook them in a pan.
  12. After filling the aubergines, place them in a pan stuffed side up.
  13. Put a lid on the pan and cook them over low heat for an hour or until the aubergines are completely soft.
  14. Check the pan occasionally and add more water if it looks a little dry.
  15. Let them cool completely and garnish with some chopped parsley and fresh tomato slices before serving.
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