Karniyarik is a popular Turkish stuffed eggplant recipe, usually enjoyed in summer when eggplants (aka aubergines) are in season and at their most delicious.
Veggies – onion, garlic, capsicum/bell pepper, and tomatoes
Herbs & Spices – chili flakes, sweet paprika, ground cumin, and ground cinnamon, along with fresh parsley
Prepare your eggplants by peeling 4 strips from the skin lengthways. Chop off the very tops and bottoms then slice through the middle lengthways (but not all the way). Pull apart to expose the inside and get ready to fry.
Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large frypan and add your eggplants. Cover with a lid and fry gently until softened (around 5-10 minutes), turning occasionally so they don’t burn. Note the inside of the eggplant will turn darker and more transparent as it starts to soften.
Place your beef mince in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to cook down in its own juices for around 5 minutes (stirring frequently) until the liquid has evaporated and the meat is nicely browned. Add the oil, chopped onion, garlic, and capsicum/peppers. Continue to fry for a few minutes or until the vegetables are soft, then add the tomatoes and cook down for another 5 minutes. Add the parsley, sweet paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and stir through evenly.
Arrange the eggplants in a large baking dish belly side up, then stuff with the beef mixture. If you have any meat leftover, you can either place this around the outside of the eggplants or serve it separately.
Garnish each eggplant with a few extra long green peppers, slices of capsicum, or tomato.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, and be sure to serve hot!