David Tsirekas' recipe for this popular Turkish eggplant dish is quick and easy to make. At his restaurant, David drizzles the eggplant with a spiced yoghurt, which includes paprika, cumin, cinnamon and cloves.
- 3 large eggplants, quartered lengthwise
- plain flour, to dust
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- natural yoghurt and shredded spring onion, to serve
- 8 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- ¼ cup firmly packed dill leaves, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink Gaia Notios Agiorgitiko red wine, Nemea, Greece
To make the filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Place eggplants in a large bowl with flour and toss to combine. Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 170°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds). Working in batches of 6, gently drop eggplant into the oil and fry, turning halfway, for 4 minutes or until golden and slightly softened. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 210°C. Turn eggplant pieces skin-side up and press lightly to flatten slightly. Using a small, sharp knife, make an incision lengthwise down the centre of the eggplant, about three-quarters of the way through to open it up.
Place eggplant on a greased oven tray and spoon some filling down the centre of each. Drizzle with oil and cook for 20 minutes or until eggplant is softened. Serve drizzled with yoghurt and topped with shredded spring onion.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg 96.
Photography by Alan Benson and Jason Loucas