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Karniyarik is a delicious Turkish stuffed aubergine dish. This recipe is simple to make, and very tasty. It's easily made vegan with vegan mince, or minced beef if prefered. I've added red peppers to mine which isn't uncommon and is how I remember the dish in Türkiye. Serve it with rice and a salad, or as I did with some green vegetables.

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Serves 4

Ingredients
4 medium-large aubergines
2-4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 red peppers, finely chopped
4-8 cloves of garlic, minced
400g (14 oz) vegan mince
40g (2 Tbsp) tomato paste
2-3 tsp dried oregano (or Turkish kekik)
1½-2 tsp pul biber (Aleppo pepper)
1 tsp sugar
2×400g tinned tomatoes (crushed or diced)
20g flat-leaf parsley (leaves only), finely chopped
salt and pepper

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425F/200°C fan assist)
  2. Place the aubergines in a roasting tin with plenty of space around them. Roast in the middle of the oven turning once after 15 minutes and putting a vertical slit and ½-1 tsp of olive oil in each aubergine, roast for another 10 minutes (total 25 mins total). You don't need to add olive oil at this stage if you don't want to though.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a thick bottomed large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the onion & red peppers in 2 tbsp olive oil, stirring regularly, until softened but not browned, 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic to the onion & red peppers and fry for another minute or so, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the vegan mince, the tomato paste, oregano, pul biber and sugar. Fry for several minutes, breaking up the mince into smaller pieces. Add the chopped tomatoes and about ½ can of water (rinse the tins out with it), mix well and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low/medium and leave to simmer for at least 10-15 minutes uncovered. Season to taste.
  6. Take off the heat and mix in the flat-leaf parsley.
  7. Gently open the cut in the aubergines and fill the aubergines with the mince sauce. We found it best that each aubergine had its own container, but you could double up if you've only a couple of larger containers. You need to factor in that the sauce will escape out of the aubergine.
  8. Bake in the middle of the oven until the aubergines are completely cooked and soft, 40 minutes or so.
  9. Serve warm on rice with another scattering of flat-leaf parsley, if you like.
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Recipe taken from Karniyarik – a true Turkish classic! and adapted.
 
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