Karniyarik is a Turkish dish consisting of eggplants stuffed with sautéed onions, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, and minced meat. I know food served on a flight is no standard to measure the deliciousness of a dish, but whenever I am served with a hearty Karniyarik on any of my Turkish Airlines flights, I am a happy traveller. I have been wanting to fulfil my stuffed eggplant cravings for quite some time, so I decided to make this classic Turkish dish from the comfort of my home so that for once I can enjoy it without having any jet lag!
- Eggplants 3; medium to small
- Canola Oil 2 tbsp
- Lean minced Beef or Lamb 400 grams
- Onion 1 medium; finely chopped
- Garlic 4 gloves; minced
- Tomatoes 3-4; finely chopped
- Tomato Paste; 2 tbsp
- Parsley 1 bunch; finely chopped
- Pul Biber or Red Pepper Flakes 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Freshly grounded black pepper 1/2 tsp
- Dried Mint 1/2 tsp
- Olive Oil 2 tbsp
- Water 1 cup
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. With the help of a sharp knife make an incision in the flesh through the centre of each eggplant leaving about half an inch at both ends. Be careful not to cut through the skin on the opposite side. Sprinkle salt on the flesh side of the eggplants. The salt will help absorb out moisture in the eggplants. Leave aside for 15 minutes then dab away the extracted water with a kitchen towel. Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a pan and shallow fry the eggplants (cut side only) till golden.
Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a skillet. Saute onions till translucent then add minced meat and continue to cook until all the water from the meat evaporates. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, dried mint and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and black pepper, mix well. Once the tomatoes are soft remove from heat and add chopped parsley.
Oil an oven proof dish and place the prepared eggplants inside. Spoon minced filling into the slits of each egg plant. Mix olive oil and water and pour inside the baking dish. Seal the baking dish with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes covered. After 30 minutes uncover the baking dish and bake for another 15 minutes or until the eggplants tops are nice and golden. Serve hot with rice or Bulgur Pilaf.