This Karniyarik recipe is a Turkish eggplant dish filled with spicy ground beef and topped with tomatoes and hot green chili peppers. It is one of my favorite Turkish recipes. This is not one of my typical quick and easy meals and it is a bit time consuming, but so worth the effort. If you love eggplants, you will love this recipe!
To prepare this dish, start by pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees F. Then, start preparing the eggplants by peeling the skin in alternating strips (see photo).
Once all the eggplants are peeled, add salt on all sides and set aside for about 20-30 minutes. The salt will help draw out any extra moisture. During this time, you can start preparing any side dishes such as Turkish Rice or a salad.
After 20-30 minutes, run the eggplant under cool water to wipe off the extra salt and squeeze out the remaining moisture, then pat dry with a paper towel.
In a pan, add some extra virgin olive oil and brown the eggplant on all sides until the eggplant is nice and soft. Once all the eggplant are browned, place them in a casserole dish and put a slit down the center with a knife. You will need to scoop out the center of the eggplant with a spoon (See picture). In some recipes, it asks for you to toss out the center, while others say to incorporate with the filling. I choose to incorporate in the filling and end up mixing it up with the ground beef. I just think it adds extra flavor if you do.
Once you are done scooping out the center of the eggplants, you will then need to start on the filling.
In a pan, add some cooking oil and cook the onions until tender. Then, add the ground beef, scooped out eggplant and cook until done. Add some salt, pepper and tomato paste, then mix, and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Once the ground beef mixture is cooked, fill them into the hallowed out eggplants, make sure to not over stuff. Top each one off with a sliced tomato and one hot green chili pepper. Then place in the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes.
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