Stuffed Eggplant Sephardic Style:
- 1 Large Eggplant
- 3 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound Ground Lamb or Beef
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 Onions small diced
- 1 Red Pepper small diced
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 3 teaspoons of Yemenite Spice “hawaiage”
- 3 teaspoons Sweet paprika
- 1/2 cups fresh parsley chopped
- ½ cup fresh coriander chopped
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1 cups Bread crumbs
- 2 Eggs
- ½ cup Flour
- ½ cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
- 4 ripe tomatoes chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Yemenite Spice Mixture: Hawaiij (pronounced Hawayej). Just as Indians use garam masala and Chinese cooks use five-spice powder, Israelis of Yemenite origins have special family recipes for Hawaiij, which they use to flavour their cooking and their coffee.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the eggplant in thick slices (width-wise) and then cut through the centre almost to the end to form a sandwich in which to hold the meat mixture.
- In a mixing bowl combine the ground meat with the finely diced onions, parsley, egg, and 1 cup of breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.
- Shape onto a small ball about the size of a large walnut and stuff it between the eggplant sandwiches
- Pass the eggplant through Flour, Egg and Breadcrumbs and shallow fry until golden on both sides and the transfer into a casserole dish.
- To prepare the sauce heat up the olive oil in a skillet, add the Yemenite spice, sweet paprika salt and pepper.
- Sauté the onion, fresh garlic and red pepper until lightly golden and then add the chopped tomatoes and reduce.
- Add 1 cup of water and cook down to a rich sauce.
- Add the chopped coriander, parsley and bay leaf.
- Pour over the eggplants and place in the oven for 1 hour until done.
- Serve over a bed of Persian White Rice.
By Chef Yochanan Lambiase