Stuffed Eggplant Karniyarik is one of the traditional, best known, and favorite Turkish dish of all time. It is irresistible with the combination of ingredients and the presentation. Best served with fluffy Turkish style pilaf.
They translate the word “Karniyarik” as a split belly. “Karın” means belly and “yarık” means split. I am really excited to share this traditional Turkish recipe with you… It is probably one of the most popular eggplant dish recipes among 150 others we have in Turkish cuisine 🙂
Ingredients For Meat Stuffed Eggplant Dish Karniyarik:
- For the stuffing:
- 400gr. ground meat (beef or half mutton)
- 2 medium onions
- 3 tomatoes
- 3 sweet green peppers
- handful of parsley
- 1 tbsp each tomato and red pepper paste
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- salt, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
- For the eggplants
- 10-11 medium same size, thin eggplants (about 1 kg or more)
- salt to rub
- paper towels
- vegetable oil to fry
- more thin sweet peppers (optional) to garnish
- For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- about 2 cups boiling water (I used 40 cm round baking tray to cook, it is OK to use a regular tray or even you can cook it in a shallow wide pan on the stovetop)
How To Make Karniyarik (Turkish Stuffed Eggplant)
First Make The Karniyarik Filling:
- Heat olive oil in a wide pan. Meanwhile, peel and dice onions and saute in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes. Add the ground beef and continue to stir until ground beef is fully cooked.
- Dice the green peppers and add them to the mixture. Cut the tomatoes in half and grate. It is the best way when you are making a dish.
- Add tomato and red pepper paste, stir, and after 3-4 minutes add the tomatoes along with seasonings and garlic. Cook on low for about 10-15 minutes lid closed.
- Add chopped parsley in the last minutes and turn off the heat.
You can make Turkish style lentil soup “Mercimek Corbasi” to complete your traditional Turkish menu 🙂 Turkish Lentil Soup “Mercimek Corbasi”
Preparing the Eggplants To stuff:
When you decided to make stuffed eggplant, try to choose medium size eggplants and in the same sizes if possible. It will help to shorten the cooking time and will look better in the presentation.
- Wash the eggplants, cut the long part of the stems and partially peel them in strips.
- Split cut the eggplants partially, not all the way from the sides and on the bottom. (Better to watch my video:)The name “Karniyarik” comes from this cutting which means “split belly”
- Rub the eggplant with salt and let them sit for half an hour to soften and get the bitter juice out. It will also help to fry without soaking much oil.
- Pat dry the eggplants with a kitchen towel and begin to fry in hot oil. After you begin to see colors turn it gently and continue to fry until it has some light colors on all sides and soft. Drain the oil and transfer it to a paper towel. Repeat until you finish all of it.
Assembling The “Karniyarik”
Here is the best and fun part. Just split fried eggplants from their belly 🙂 and fill it with meat stuffing and place it into the widest pan you have or in an oven-safe dish. After all of it comes together you might have leftover stuffing. Just be happy and grab a piece of fresh bread and dip it to the stuffing and enjoy! 🙂 Or crack an egg next morning and have your feast breakfast…
For the Final Tomato Sauce:
In a medium-size saucepan heat 4-5 olive oil and add 1 tbsp heaped tomato paste and saute for 1 minute. Add 2 cups hot water, boil it for 30 seconds more and pour over the eggplants. Cook in preheated 200C oven for about 30 minutes or until veggies are soft.
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