Mom and dad came and have been with us for a few days, which means we have feast like dinners thanks to mom, a super cook. Hubby and I prepared macaroni with mushroom and tomatoes paired with a fresh green salad for dinner on the day they came. I know it’s a simple menu when compared to mom’s, but we didn’t have enough time to prepare something more complex. They were so kind to love what they had on their plate, and both asked for second. When we were having black tea after dinner, mom asked if there was something we wanted her to cook. She is always devoted herself to her children and she can make anything to make us happy. As she knows we work hard, she is never lazy to prepare the most difficult dishes for us whenever she visits us. So was there anything we wanted to eat? After hearing her question, I visualized the veggies in our refrigerator and remembered we only had some eggplants, tomatoes and peppers. I asked the question this time: What can we make with these? Then came the great idea from dad: Dilme! It is one of the dishes stayed in my childhood. I totally forgot to cook it after leaving home. So we made dilme for dinner that day. I mean mom made and I helped her. And I remembered how scrumptious this eggplant dish is and hubby loved it too. Thank you mom!
Dilme is a Turkish word that means slicing. We slice eggplants for this dish, not cutting them totally. Actually, dilme is a special dish at Çukurova region (South of Turkey) and unfortunately not known by many people in other regions of Turkey. As an eggplant lover, I think dilme is one of the best dishes made from eggplant. You will find it delicious even if you don’t like eggplant much as green lentils give a very nice flavor to it. It might become a favorite dish of vegetarians as well.
The eggplants we used were more like Japanese eggplants, so mom first cut them in two so that it would be easy to place them in a pot. So if your eggplants are long, cut them crosswise. Then slice them lengthwise, but do not cut them at the end (as in the picture). Eggplants are ready when you finish slicing all.
Then prepare its filling. Chop all the vegetables. Wash the lentils and add it. Then add pepper paste. You can use tomato paste if you don’t have it.
You can increase the amount of olive oil if you like. But I think it’s enough as we pour another 2tbsp olive oil on the eggplants when all of them are finished. We forgot to put it but you can also use dried mint.
Mix everything and stuff the filling mixture between each slice as in the picture.
Place the stuffed eggplants in a pot carefully.
Mom becomes happy when she makes us happy. So everyone ate this eggplant dish heartily with yum yum sounds, and we were all happy after such an appetizing dish. Hubby wanted to take a photo of happy mom and daughter, so here it is.
- 10 eggplants
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 green pepper
- 1 chili pepper(optional)
- 6 small tomatoes
- 1 cup green lentil
- 1 tbsp pepper paste
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- Wash eggplants and peel them in pyjamas (as in the picture). Do not cut their heads.
- Cut them in half if they are too long.
- Slice eggplants lengthwise leaving their ends.
- Chop all vegetables in a bowl for the filling, add lentils and pepper paste.
- Add olive oil to the mixture.
- Add salt, dried basil and black pepper. Mix them all.
- Fill the slices of eggplants with the mixture.
- Place them in a pot and pour 1 cup water into it.
- Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil over eggplants.
- Cook it ver high heat for 3 minutes, then bring it to the lowest and cook for 45 minutes.
- Serve it hot or warm.
- For the yogurt sauce, mix mashed garlic with yogurt. And drizzle it on dilmes.