Aubergines stuffed with Lentils

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)
  1. Aubergines – 2 large, halved lengthwise
  2. Cooked masoor (red) lentils – 1 cup
  3. Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
  4. Tomatoes – 4 large, puréed
  5. Garlic – 1 large clove, finely chopped
  6. Harissa paste – 1-1.5 tablespoons (can sub with Gochujang paste)
  7. Rosemary – 1 sprig
  8. Broth – 3/4th cup
  9. Olive oil – 2 + 2 tablespoons
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. Grated parmesan or cheddar (optional) – 1/4th cup

For garnish –
Fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds

Method –
  • 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!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!