This creation is inspired by the classic stuffed aubergine dish from the Ottoman cuisine – Imam Baylidi. The aubergines are simmered in olive oil and though it is quite a delightful dish, I find it rather oily. For this recipe, I cook the aubergines in a skillet first and then roast in the oven.
What you will need – (for 2 massive servings)
- Aubergines – 2 large, halved lengthwise
- Cooked masoor (red) lentils – 1 cup
- Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
- Tomatoes – 4 large, puréed
- Garlic – 1 large clove, finely chopped
- Harissa paste – 1-1.5 tablespoons (can sub with Gochujang paste)
- Rosemary – 1 sprig
- Broth – 3/4th cup
- Olive oil – 2 + 2 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan or cheddar (optional) – 1/4th cup
For garnish –
Fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds
- Slit aubergines lengthwise and score in a criss-cross. Drizzle with salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium flame and place the aubergines slit-side down.
Cook till the skin begins to wrinkle (about 7 mins).
- Take the aubergines out of the pan and scoop out a little flesh from the centre to create a cavity. Set aside. (You only want to scoop out the tender bits in the centre. There should be enough flesh remaining on all sides.)
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 180°C.
- In the same pan add remaining oil, garlic, chopped onions and rosemary. Sauté on medium heat till the onions become translucent.
- Add tomato purée, salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 mins.
- Now add cooked lentils, scooped aubergine flesh and harissa. Stir to combine.
- Add broth to the pan, bring to a boil and simmer till thickened.
- Add this mix into the aubergines and roast at 180°C for 30 mins or until the aubergine is completely cooked.
- Garnish with grated cheese and fresh herbs. Serve immediately.
Serve as is or alongside a vibrant salad or rice or cauliflower rice or quinoa.
Storage notes –
The stuffing can be stored for upto 3 days. Advisable to cook the eggplants when you’re ready to eat.
If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!