Eggplant and Ground Beef Kebab

I think lazy bug bit me- like I needed another excuse for procrastination!! I did not post anything for weeks. I wrote this post like three weeks ago but could not send it. Somebody pinch me, I’m back!

When I saw these little indian ball eggplants, I fell in love. They look like precious little purple gemstones. No worries, they are in good hands, I know the perfect recipe for them.

Traditionally this kebab is done with layers of meatball patties and regular eggplants that are cut into circles. But I thought it can be great to stuff them with meatballs.

They were so photogenic too. Feast to my eyes and stomach. Need I say more??


Eggplant and Ground Beef Kebab

(Note: You can use both regular eggplants and small indian eggplants. The pictures display the version with indian eggplants. But traditionally this dish is done using regular eggplants. The recipe below gives the directions for regular eggplants but it is adaptable to small ball eggplants as noted at the bottom.)

4-5 regular eggplants
1 pound ground beef (use lean ground beef if using indian eggplants so that the meatballs inside eggplants do not shrink much.)
1 egg
1 onion
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon blackpepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1.5 teaspoon salt
2 tomatoes, sliced thinly horizantally
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (preferably) hot chiles, chopped
4 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 390F.
2. Cut eggplants lengthwise to 1 inch pieces. Put them in salty water to get rid off bitter taste while you prepare meatballs. Drain and pat with a paper towel after 15-20 minutes.
3. Grate onion.
4. Add 1 egg, breadcrumbs, spices and 1.5 teaspoon salt. Mix together.
5. Add ground beef. Mix to combine and knead a little. (Here if you have time, cover and leave in the refrigerator for an hour; this can also be done overnight.)
6. Make flat meatball patties.
7. Into a covered baking dish(cast iron, pyrex etc) put one layer of meatball, one layer of eggplants, one layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle half of the chiles, half of the garlic and half of the butter pieces. Repeat layers meatball, eggplant, tomatoes, chiles, garlic, butter until you finish.
8. Add tomato paste and 1 teaspoon salt to water, stir to combine.
9. Pour mixture over the layers.
10. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 390F.

If using indian eggplants: Cut the top of eggplants and carve them. Leave in salty water for 15-20 minutes, drain and pat with paper towel. Prepare meatballs as directed above. Stuff eggplants with meatballs. Arrange stuffed eggplants in baking dish, layer tomatoes, chiles, garlic and butter on them. Pour the tomato paste mixture. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 390F.

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