Eggplant Kebab

Eggplant Kebab |

Patlıcan Kebap

Summer is the season of many vegetables here, and one of the most outstanding vegetables in Summer is eggplant. We can see eggplants at markets in the Winter as well, but they don’t have the same taste as the ones at bazaars. The difference of these two shopping centers is so obvious at this point. I don’t know if this is the same in other countries, but although they are lower at price, the vegetables and fruits at bazaars are always much fresher. That’s why I always prefer shopping there. At bazaars, you are not allowed to pick the vegetables yourselves and fill your bag, sellers do it for you. You just tell him how many kilos you want. Some people may find it unfair and prefer markets as they are more free there to pick what they want. But what does it mean when they are not that fresh?

I think I must talk on the meanings of market and bazaar in our culture. Market is the same in Turkish, just its pronounciation is different, but its meaning may also have some difference from its English meaning. Market is a closed area (I mean which has a roof) with many things like canned/packaged foods, vegetables and fruits, detergents, kitchen utensils, garden tools, so many various things. Here we buy things, put it in the shopping basket and pay it to cashiers in cash or with credit cards. As for bazaar, we call it ‘pazar’ in Turkish and they are always at open areas. (I think they are also called open markets in English, I don’t know if they have difference.) They are open in certain neighborhoods on certain days, so you have to wait for that day for shopping and people generally buy their needs weekly. Unlike markets, these bazaars are generally based on vegetables, fruits, homemade breads, cheese, yogurt, no detergent or other things not related to food, but some bigger ones may have clothes stands. And we must pay in cash at bazaars, no credit cards.

Besides the fresh foods, the thing I love the most at bazaars is the conversations I have with the sellers and other people who are shopping there. I think markets add to modern indivual’s alienation, no social relationships there, just fill your shopping basket and pay. Of course the role of the music playing at markets can not be ignored here. It prevents you from feeling lonely and also it makes you feel yourself as an important person. I know many people ‘visiting’ markets to spend time, not for shopping, they just watch the aisles, compare products and leave. On the contrary, you feel the life energy and interactions between people by the time you approach to a bazaar. You start to hear sellers’ voices trying to attract customers. You can ask sellers where that product is grown and talk for a while. You can even get a recipe from a seller or an old lady while shopping. Sellers at our bazaars are always so funny and creative, they find different descriptions or slogans for their products and they continually repeat them in a high tone. They may suddenly break a cucumber in half just as you’re passing along to show how fresh it is and say it is like fresh green almond.


The seller which sold me these eggplants was repeating this; ‘perfect for kebab, perfect for kebab, perfect for kebab, come on look at this’. As you can guess, I went and buy as I was intrigued by the word ‘kebab’ (kebap in Turkish). Kebab is the general name of meat dishes grilled on skewers on wood fire. It has many varieties and it can be made from lamb(the best for me) or beef, diced or minced. There are also some meat dishes cooked in pots on stove but called kebab though.

This eggplant kebab is traditionally grilled on wood fire and eggplants and meatballs are strung on skewers, but I cooked it in oven, so I didn’t use skewers. Homemade version is made with this method.


Ingredients (serving 4)
– 4 eggplants
– 2 tomatoes
– 4 green peppers
– 250gr (9oz) ground meat
– 1 big onion, grated
– A handful of bread crumb
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp cumin
– 4 tbsp olive oil

Slice the eggplants in circular shape, they shouldn’t be too thin as eggplant is an easily cooked vegetable. Wait them in salted water for 15 min. To remove its bitterness.


Meanwhile, you can prepare the meatballs. Combine ground meat, grated onion, bread crumb and spices. Knead it to combine these well. Take a piece in your hand, if it doesn’t spread, it’s done. You can add a little more bread crumb if needed. Then take pieces as big as a walnut and first roll it in your hands then gently press on it to give it a flat shape. Repeat this until all ground meat finishes.


Preheat the oven to 180 C. Drain the eggplant slices. Oil an oven tray and lay the eggplant slices and meatballs as you see in the picture. If you still have some eggplant slices at the end, you can place them in the empty places of the tray.

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in the tray with peppers, you can use them help the eggplant slices to stand still. Pour 4 tbsp olive oil on them and cook in the oven for 45 minutes. After this time, check if the eggplants are soft enough by inserting a fork on one of them. Cook 5 or 10 minutes more if needed. Put each eggplant-meatball combination on a service plate with a tomato and pepper and serve it hot.

Eggplant Kebab |


  1. says

    Ooo…I learned a new word today. “pazar” They definitely sound like farmer’s markets here in the US. I love them.

    Those kababs look really tastey Today is just full of eggplants!!! LOL. This would be really great at an outdoor BBQ gathering.

    • Helen says

      A lovely recipe – and one I will try later today. The word ‘market’ in English was used originally to describe what you mean by a bazaar. Markets would take place on ‘market day’ in the ‘market square’. This tradition continues in English country villages and towns e.g. Thirsk in North Yorkshire and Ely in Cambridgeshire. These traditional country markets focus mainly on seasonal food and produce. Covered markets are a later innovation and it’s easy to see how supermarkets developed from there!

  2. says

    like Jenn, I learned a new word as well! I never knew bazaar was pronounced as pazar. I love these kabobs so creative and delicious!

  3. Citronetvanille says

    Love those pictures! beautiful kebabs, I can smell Turkey and the Mediterranean cuisine. I love eggplants, they’re among my favorite vegetables.

  4. says

    Zerrin I didn’t know the pronunciation of bazaar is pazar…

    The vegan-eggplant kebab looks spectacular and enticing :)
    Generally speaking I’ve tasted it of lamb meat.
    Sending to twitter later.



  5. says

    This looks so beautiful and delicious! Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, so I’m excited to have another recipe to use it in…thanks!

  6. says

    This is the eggplant time of year! And, your eggplant kebabs look great! The tomatoes and peppers sound delicious with them.

  7. says

    We eat eggplant all the time. It is my husband’s favorite vegetable. Fantastic recipe and great info! Thank you.

  8. Leesie says

    One of my favorite vegetables! This recipe sounds and looks awesome. I’d like to give it a try for kebabs. I usually egg wash thick slices, cover in breadcrumbs and fry for a few minutes – sometimes I add a little tomato sauce and a piece of fresh mozzarella on top and bake it long enough to melt the cheese which goes great with pasta.

    Thanks Zerrin – I adore your recipes and learning about Turkish culture, etc.

  9. OysterCulture says

    I love eggplant, I love kebabs and I love lamb what a perfect combination I was thinking of something to serve at a picnic and this looks perfect.

  10. says

    This really looks great, eggplant and ground meat is such a wonder combination, and now on a kebab! Wonderful!

    CCR =:~)

  11. says

    Absolutely delicious – we had this for supper last night, and it was such a hit with my family that we’ll definitely be doing it again. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. says

    I have a couple of eggplants in my fridge and as I was coming to work I was trying to think of a recipe…and here I see what you feature…I’ll definitely try this one…looks so delicious…nice pictures as well.

  13. says

    Pazar’i cok guzel aciklamissin Zerrin. Bence de pazar’da alisveris yapmak marketten cok daha guzel. Ben de burda farmer’s market diye bir yere gidiyorum, bizim ordaki pazarlara benziyor. Bizimki kadar canli olmasa da yine disarda cifcilerden alisveris yapmak ayri bir zevk veriyor. Kebab harika gorunuyor bu arada.

  14. says

    I have some eggplant that would love to cook this way. But I have a question, is this lamb meat or beef? I know you use a lot of Lamb that is why I ask. Also could you post picture in the future of those green peppers?


    Love the new presentation.

  15. says

    First, thank you all for commenting. My computer had some problems, that’s why I was away and couldn’t answer some of your questions.

    Gera- I’ve never tried it with ground chicken or turkey, but I think it’s worth trying.

    Leesie- your way of cooking eggplants takes my attention, I generally try not to fry vegetables, but sometimes it’s so hard not to crave for fried ones.

    Mely- I used beef here, but it doesn’t matter much in this recipe as it’s ground/minced meat. I’m sure both are delicious in this recipe.

  16. says

    This looks so amazing, my mind is blown away! (does that make sense? I think I’m hyperventilating here)
    I ADORE eggplants, and am always so excited to find a new creative recipe.

  17. says

    We call them farmers markets – and I go every week if I can to see what they have available. My dad loved eggplant, though I don’t know if he ever made kabobs with them.

  18. says

    Wow, these look AMAZING! I’ve never made this before but now definitely want to!

  19. says

    What a great eggplant recipe! I will have to make this soon, before summer gets away from me and local eggplants are no longer available. I went on a tour of our farmer’s market and was amazed by the variety of this vegetable. Perhaps I can experiment with different kinds!

  20. says

    I should not look at your food pictures before I eat breakfast. I have eggplants in the garden and must try this recipe soon. -Tien

  21. says

    Looks amazing and I love your tip about the salt water for the eggplant. The flavour can be over powering at times.


  1. […] It is easier to carve and stuff these as they have a shorter body. However, if you want to make eggplant kebab,then you must prefer zucchini shaped eggplants. The body of these are better to be cut in circles. […]

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