I have an easy to make festive dish Turkish koftes with eggplant base and tomato sauce. It has a bechamel like a puree base with eggplants and Turkish style meatballs kofte on top with tomato sauce and topped with kashar cheese before it goes to the oven.
With all those layers it turns out so yummy and it’s easy to make too. So let’s get started.
First, make my eggplant pure base which we call “begendi”
- Prick the eggplants and grill until they are soft on all sides. Then get the meaty part out. It is very easy just open with a knife and scop with the help of a spoon. It can be still hot but I can hold it from the stems. Chop it finely until it kind of a pure and set aside.
- Heat up a medium size pan and melt some butter about 2 tbsp and also about 3-4 tbsp olive oil. Add the all-purpose flour about 2 tbsp. and saute until having a golden color and nice smell coming out like for 1-2 minutes. It is a kind of bechamel sauce with eggplant. Add the eggplants and continue to cook for one’ two more minutes.
- Add the whole milk in total about 3/4 cup milk but it can change depending on the flour we use or the size of the eggplants. So just eyeball it and make a nice pure. If it comes too thick you can always add a little bit more milk to it. And season it with some salt finally kashar cheese. You can use mozzarella or any melting cheese type that is not too strong and our eggplant base “begendi” is ready.
I have a similar recipe that has an eggplant base which is “Alinazik” It is one of our favorite and most of you are tried. I got many nice comments. Make sure you watch and try it if you haven’t yet.
Making Turkish Kofte Balls
- I prefer to make it in the food processor I have. I have two slices of old bread and 1 medium size onion. I am going to process it until it is almost like a pure and going to add my ground beef about 350gr. it can change depends on the serving size you are gonna make.
- For the seasoning, I am adding 1 tsp salt and half tsp each ground black pepper, cumin, and ground red pepper. And here is a small but powerful hint, add a quarter of a tsp baking soda and drop some lemon over it. This really makes a different texture in the kofte. Just mix everything well by pulsing the food processor until It is corporate.
- In the traditional way, we grate the onions and add the other ingredients and knead by hand but this really comes out very easy to make. So I prefer it this way.
- I am going to shape my meatballs, my koftes and precook it on the griddle before assembling everything. For this recipe, I preferred to shape my koftes smaller, but it’s up to you. Going to grease my pan before placing my koftes and ready to go. Cook both sides until you have a nice color. Make it a little bit juicy, don’t dry it out but make sure they are cooked inside too. Before turning it over just brush with a little bit of olive oil to make sure it’s not going to stick.
Preparing The Tomato Sauce
- Heat some olive oil and saute 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste and half tbsp pepper paste. Recently on the channel, I shared both of the recipes, pepper, and tomato paste and I am happily using it in my dishes and it tastes so yummy. I hope you try too let me know.
- Adding two cloves of chopped garlic to my sauce and finely chopped or grated medium size tomato. Just cook everything well until it becomes a nice thick sauce.
Assembling The Kofte Eggplant Puree
- Transfer the eggplant puree in a medium-size oven-safe deep dish pan. Arrange the koftes it over the eggplant puree.
- Next the tomato sauce: I don’t want to cover all my koftes with the tomato sauce so I am going to drizzle on the sides of it. And of course as a final touch some grated kashar cheese or mozzarella.
- Bake it in a preheated 180C oven for about 20-25 minutes until has nice color on top and sizzling and it will be ready. I think it shows itself from the scenes. I hope you give it a try and like it. Share your photos with me from my Instagram account @TurkishFoodTravel. “Afiyet olsun”