Serve this flavourful Turkish vegetarian dish with crusty bread for a substantial main meal. When following the recipe, be sure the sunflower oil is hot enough so that the vegetables don’t soak up too much of it.
- 1 tsp salt, plus ¼ tsp extra
- 2 large zucchini (courgettes), cut into 4 cm chunks (550 g net)
- 2 medium eggplant (aubergines), cut into 4 cm chunks (500 g net)
- sunflower oil, for frying
- 2 green capsicum (peppers), cut into 4 cm chunks (330 g net)
- 3 large roma (plum) tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges (270 g net)
- 180 g Greek yoghurt
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1½ tbsp mint leaves, shredded
- 2 tsp dried mint
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- black pepper
Chilli and herb oil
- 2 green chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
- 20 g parsley
- 20 g dill
- 5 g mint
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
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.
Standing time 30 minutes
Sprinkle the salt over the zucchini and eggplant, stir well and place in a colander. Stand for 30 minutes, to allow some of the water to release.
Meanwhile, to make the chilli and herb oil, place the ingredients in a small food processor and process into a smooth sauce with a thick pouring consistency.
Add enough sunflower oil to a medium saucepan to reach 3 cm up the sides of the pan. Heat on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and little bubbles start to surface, reduce the heat to medium. Pat dry the zucchini and eggplant, and have them and the other vegetables ready. First, deep-fry the eggplant, in batches, for about 7 minutes. Next, fry the zucchini, in batches, for about 10 minutes. Follow with the capsicum for 8 minutes, then tomato for 5 minutes. As you cook, transfer the fried vegetables to a colander to drain.
When the vegetables are lukewarm or room temperature, whisk the yoghurt, garlic, fresh and dried mint, lemon juice, extra salt and plenty of black pepper in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and stir very gently. Transfer to a serving dish and spoon over the herb oil. Serve immediately.