Sunday, September 20, 2009

Slashed Eggplant (Karnıyarık)

Before the summer is completely over (I know it’s already over in some places), I wanted to publish one of my favorite eggplant recipes, the ‘Karnıyarık’ which literally means ‘Slit belly’. This Ottoman dish truly tastes delectable, not to mention its attractive looks.

The day I was shopping for eggplants, I did not find the regular long and thick eggplants that are usually used in Turkey for this dish at my grocery store, so I substituted with Chinese eggplants. The ideal eggplant is not the Chinese eggplant, but still works well. The short eggplants can also be used for this recipe; however I prefer the long eggplants.

6 long eggplants
1 cup olive oil
2-3 green long peppers (cut lengthwise)
2 tsp salt

For the Stuffing:

1 lb ground beef (96% lean)
3 ripe tomatoes (peeled and diced)
1 green long pepper (chopped)
½ onion (chopped finely)
2 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
¼ cup parsley (chopped finely)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp salt

For the Sauce:

1½ cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tomato paste

Peel eggplants in stripes as shown below without removing the stems.

Heat oil in a large frying pan and half fry the eggplants. The eggplants should be fried enough to be easily slashed, but not too mushy. Let the eggplants cool.

In the meantime, prepare the stuffing. Heat the 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and place the ground beef. Cook the ground beef until it takes a brownish color. Add the onions and green peppers. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir. At the end, add the parsley and stir. The diced tomatoes can also be added inside the stuffing however this recipe will add it on top of the ground beef.

Let the stuffing cool. Slit each half-fried and already cooled eggplant from its belly lengthwise from the top, without detaching it. Salt the inside and the outside of the eggplants.

Stuff each slit eggplant with the ground beef stuffing.

Mix the diced tomatoes with the chopped garlic in a separate bowl. Place a couple spoonfuls on top of the ground beef.

Place a piece of green pepper on top and arrange in a deep baking pan.

Put the water in a bowl. Add the salt and tomato paste and stir vigorously until the tomato paste is dissolved. Pour over the eggplants in the baking pan.

Bake covered for about 50 minutes at 350 F . Enjoy with rice pilaf and salad.

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Mediterranean kiwi said...

you've made these look so pretty - I also make these (we call them papoutsakia, meaning little shoes), but your version is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye!

Anonymous said...

Ohh Nihal! Thank you for this..I just Love Eggplants and this is such a lovely dish! In my case I can always fill it with a mushroom mix like you once suggested or tvp..theres something about it`s warm embracing belly that is just perfect for greeting the Automn..!:)Mia

My Turkish Kitchen said...

Eline saglik Nihal, cok nefis gorunuyor.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nihal!
During my 4days staying in Antakya this August, I had the opportunity to taste this dish regularly! An excellent choice even as a meze!!! Hope to read soon from you a recipe for the other super-cool eggplant-meat combination that also drove me crazy: Ali Nazik!!!
Warm wishes for this autumn time,
George (Athens)

Elra said...

Another delicious recipe that make my mouth water.

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

What a delicious stuffed eggplant! The filling sounds wonderful. I had some of these eggplants in my cart and I put them back. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them.

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Maria, thanks. I think the purple color of an eggplant is pretty and when combined with the red tomato and green pepper, it creates this beautiful contrast of colors.

Mia, mushroom filling would go well with this! Never tried it myself, but I just can imagine.

Iffet, tesekkur ederim.

Hi George, I didn't realize that you had also been to Antakya! I am happy to hear that you had a chance to taste food from Antakya region! Yes, my mother-in-law who lives in Antakya makes the BEST Ali Nazik. I should get her recipe and post it here sometime.

Thanks Elra!

Reeni, next time, I hope you keep them in your cart :) There are so many ways you could cook eggplants. I think eggplants are underused in the American cuisine. Give'em a try!

Anonymous said...

Delicious eggplants, love the stuffing!

Baron's Life said...

Nihal...first please let me wish you and your family a Happy Eid El Fitr.
The eggplant Karniyarik is one of my favorite dishes along with Kezan Kebab...Thank you for posting this recipe for all our friends to enjoy...A Truly Turkish delight second to none.

Soma said...

the purple green & the red looks sooo pretty! I can always change this to minced chicken or make it veggie too with couscous bulgur etc.

Nihal thanks for appreciating the Kisir.. I was very proud of it:-) it tasted exactly like the one in the restaurant. the appreciation coming for you means a lot you know.
also the sesame in the coban was just my touch, not traditional I know.

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

5 SF, thanks.

Berge, thank you for your wishes.

Soma, ground chicken would work, or even lamb.

About the kisir, I was very impressed :)

Yasmeen said...

Love the stuffing,must try this next time I buy Eggplants :)

lisaiscooking said...

The pepper on top looks great! I've never made stuffed eggplant, but I want to now.

Selba said...

What a delicious way to prepare eggplant!

meeso said...

Wonderful recipe! Really shows off those eggplants :)

zerrin said...

Karniyarik is one of my favorite eggplant dishes. Yours look so tasty and now I'm craving for it! (it's 3 am now )I must make it for dinner tomorrow. And I love eating a bowl of home made yogurt near it.

Laila said...

Looks absolutely delicious ..
Laila ...

Baron's Life said...

Dear Nihal...This is got to be one of my favorite dishes...
We also include large sliced tomatoes stuffed with the ground meat stuffing...we call it Kezan Kebab...superlicious...Thanks for sharing