This Turkish Stuffed Eggplant recipe, also known as Karniyarik, is made by stuffing roasted eggplants with tasty ground beef, pepper and tomatoes filling. Originated from the Ottoman cuisine, this is a delicious way to use eggplants that are in abundance during the summer months.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Using a fork, poke 7-10 holes in each eggplant.
Place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour making sure to turn once or twice for even roasting.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool on the counter.
Turn the heat down to 350 degrees F.
To Make The Meat Sauce:
Meanwhile, make the meat sauce. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion, ground cumin, pepper, and ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-12 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add in the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, turn down the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked. Taste for seasoning and add more if necessary.
Off the heat, stir in a cup of chopped parsley.
Mix together the water and tomato sauce in a measuring cup.
Place roasted eggplant in a large casserole dish. It might be tight and that is okay.
Using a knife, gently cut a small opening in the "belly" of each eggplant. Fill the opening of each eggplant with the meat mixture letting it mound through the slit.
Spoon the tomato sauce & water mixture over the stuffed eggplant. You should use 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture for each eggplant. Pour the remaining mixture at the bottom of the casserole dish.
To garnish, slice a large tomato (or two small ones) into 6 thin slices and place a few slices on top of each eggplant, like you see in the photos.
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Storage: When stored in an airtight container, leftovers can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and bake in a casserole dish for 15-20 minutes.
Freezing: Bring the stuffed eggplants to room temperature and place them in an airtight container. Because karniyarik freezes so well, you can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Thawing: Remove the stuffed eggplants from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the stuffed eggplant on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until fully warmed.
Use ground lamb instead of ground beef for a lamb aubergine recipe bursting with a robust, tender flavor.
Don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand? Try canned tomatoes instead. Only one cup is necessary to make this mouthwatering Turkish meal.