Ever wonder where certain dishes get their names from? I do! In Turkish cuisine, we have interestingly named dishes :)) For example this eggplant dish in Turkish is called ‘Karniyarik’ which literally means ‘Slit Belly’ :P I’m not kidding!!! I’m assuming the name comes from the action of slitting the belly of the eggplant to stuff it! Sounds….funny! But trust me, this is not the first nor the last interesting sounding Turkish food :)) More on that on future dishes :)))

This is a classic dish that I love making and enjoy eating!! A LOT!! and I hope you will too…

Let me know what you think :)))


Peel the eggplants in half inch stripes



Soak eggplants in salt water for about 20 minutes.



Finely chop the onions, garlic, pepper and tomato…or grate the tomato like I have!



Squeeze the water out of the the eggplants and pat dry. Put in a strainer until ready to be fried.



Remove the fried eggplants from the oil and put on paper towel to soak up excess oil.



With a knife, make a vertical shallow cut along the center of the eggplant, about 3 inches long. With the help of a spoon and guidance from your fingers gently press down to hollow the eggplant and give it the shape seen above.



Fill each eggplant with the ground beef mixture; garnish with half a slice of tomato and a thin slice of green pepper.



Spoon a bit of tomato sauce all over each eggplant and pour the rest into the baking dish





Canoe shaped Stuffed Eggplants
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Dinner
Serves: 8
Canoe shaped stuffed eggplants with ground beef!
For the Eggplants
  • 8 medium sized eggplants
  • 1 large bowl of water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
For the ground beef stuffing
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 250 grams ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 long sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped or grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
For Frying
  • 3 - 4 cups vegetable oil (enough oil for half of an eggplant to be submerged into the oil when frying)
For the Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper paste (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups hot water
For the Garnish
  • half a tomato, sliced into semi-circles
  • 1 long sweet green pepper, sliced into strips
Prepare the Eggplants
  1. Wash the eggplants; remove the stem if desired. You can keep the stems on for aesthetic purposes but trim them if necessary.
  2. Peel eggplants in ½ inch stripes (you can use a peeler as I did or you can use a small knife)
  3. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in a large bowl of water. Put the eggplants into the bowl and let them soak for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing.
Prepare the Ground Beef Stuffing
  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes or until the onions turn pinkish/golden.
  2. Add the ground beef and sauté until the meat turns brown all over. Stir in the garlic.
  3. Add the green pepper and let cook for 3 minutes. Finally add the tomatoes, stir, and let cook for a further 3 - 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside until the eggplants are ready.
Frying the eggplants
  1. Line a tray with paper towel.
  2. Gently squeeze the water from the eggplants; pat dry with a paper towel and set in a strainer.
  3. Add the oil in a large pot and place over medium/high heat. After about 4 - 5 minutes, start checking the oil if it's ready every few minutes. You can do this by dipping the end of the eggplant into the oil. If the oil starts bubbling, it's ready.
  4. Put the eggplants carefully into the hot oil and fry on all sides rotating with a tong or fork until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oil and set on the tray lined with paper towel.
  6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (392 degrees F)
Assembling the Eggplants
  1. Once the eggplants have cooled down a bit and it's easy to handle them by hand, place the eggplants in a large baking dish. Make sure that the 'pretty' side faces up :)
  2. With the help of a knife, make a shallow vertical slit down the center of the eggplants (about 3 inches long. Don't cut all the way down; just use the tip of the knife to make a shallow cut.
  3. Using a spoon, gently press the eggplant down from where you slit it. Since they are fried, the insides are soft and it won't take a lot of effort to push them down with a spoon. You'll see a canoe shape forming as you push down.
  4. Once you're satisfied with the hollow center, stuff the eggplants with the meat stuffing you prepared. 2 - 3 tablespoons should be enough.
  5. Decorate with semi-circle shaped sliced tomato and a piece of green pepper
Prepare the Tomato Sauce
  1. In a measuring cup, or a medium sized bowl, combined the tomato paste, red pepper paste, salt, black pepper and hot water.
  2. Mix well until all the sauce is smooth.
  3. Gently pour a few spoonfuls of sauce onto each eggplant.
  4. Pour the remaining sauce into the baking dish.
  5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes (uncovered)
  6. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for about 10 - 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice


Enjooooy :))






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