Eggplant in Tomato Sauce (Patlıcan Bastırma)

Even though this dish may not look appealing, it does taste great. It is also very healthy as it involves a nutritious vegetable; eggplant. This dish was one of my least favorite dishes when I was a kid. Now, I truly enjoy it.

Eggplants are not in season now, however they are still available in stores. This dish is a very popular summer dish, but there is no reason why you couldn't make it in the winter if you find the eggplants. This recipe has been waiting to be posted since this summer as it was competing with other scrumptious recipes. Now is its turn.

You have the option of making this dish with meat. Most of the time, I cook the vegetable stews without meat. If you choose to add meat, sauté the meat, prior to adding the rest of the ingredients. For this particular dish, the eggplant can be substituted with okra, zucchini, green beans and even potatoes.

5 medium eggplants
3 small tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
¼ white or yellow onion (chopped)
1 large garlic clove (chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato sauce
Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
1 cup water

Prepare a large pot filled with salty water for the eggplants. Peel the eggplants in half to one inch stripes leaving the peel lengthwise on four sides of the eggplant. The peeled section and unpeeled section of the eggplant will be alternating. Cut the eggplants in half. Take each half and slice diagonally in bite sized pieces. Immediately place in salty water to prevent discoloration.

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sautee for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Dissolve the tomato sauce in the water and add to the pot. Sprinkle salt and pepper as much or as little as you want. Stir and cover. Cook on low heat for 40 minutes. The eggplants should be soft when finished cooking. Serve with rice or bulgur pilaf.

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