This is another eggplant dish I have been planning to share with you for a long time. It is one of five star dishes in Turkish cuisine and it is almost a must for a Turkish restaurant to serve it. Karnıyarık is loved all around Turkey and that’s why I have to write about it before it’s too late. Karnıyarık can be translated as split belly. Another funny name of a Turkish dish. Do you remember imam fainted (imambayıldı)? I don’t know if there is a story behind this one, but the name still sounds as funny as imam fainted. Their funny names are not the only similarity between these two classical Turkish dishes. They are almost the same except the addition of mince in the filling of karniyarik. As all meat dishes in Turkish cuisine, it is served hot unlike imambayildi. Imambayildi can be served cold as it is in the category of olive oil dishes, which means it is meatless. By looking at its picture, you can understand why karniyarik has such an odd name. The eggplant belly is split and stuffed with a mince filling. It is split in imambayildi as well, but this one owns the name. Imambayildi must have been invented first. And most probably, someone who was a meat fan must have suggested adding mince into the filling of imambayildi and named it as karniyarik. Now we love both versions!
Karniyarik is generally served with cacik to give a refreshing feeling with this hot meat dish.
Eggplants are first roasted in oven and their bellies are cut just like the process of Imambayildi. these eggplant bellies are stuffed with the filling mixture. They are placed in an oven tray.
Eggplants are topped with tomato slices and peppers. A mixture of water, pepper paste and tomato paste is added. Don’t pour it right over the eggplants not to change the color. Drizzle little olive oil on each and cook at 200C until tomatoes and green peppers are done (about 20 min).
Don’t forget to serve it with cacik.
- 4 eggplants (I cut one of them crosswise as it was so big)
- 150g minced beef
- 4 green peppers (2 for filling, 2 for topping)
- 2 big tomatoes (1 ½ for filling, ½ for topping)
- 1 onion, diced
- 7 tbsp olive oil (5 for eggplants, 2 for the filling)
- Ground black pepper
- ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp pepper or tomato paste
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Wash and peel eggplants lengthwise with strips. Cut them crosswise if they are too long. Leave its stem as in picture.
- If you want to remove the bitterness of eggplants, wait them in salted water for 15 minutes, squeeze gently and pat with paper towel. Poke holes on each eggplant to make them cook quicker.
- Lay a baking sheet in an oven tray and place the eggplants here. Then oil the eggplants (1tbsp oil for each). Cook until tender (about 30 min).
- Split their bellies gently with a knife. Give a boat shape with a spoon.
- You can prepare the filling when you put the eggplants in oven.
- Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a pan and saute the onion. Add minced beef, salt, black pepper and stir. Dice 1 tomato and add it to the pan when minced beef gets light brown. Continue stirring until there is very little water left and take it from heat. Add parsley and mix well.
- Stuff the eggplant bellies with this filling mixture and place them in an oven tray.
- Slice 1 tomato and 2 peppers and place them on stuffed eggplant bellies.
- Mix 1 tbsp pepper or tomato paste with 1 cup water and get a reddish water. Pour it directly in the oven tray.
- Drizzle little olive oil on each and cook them at 200C until tomatoes and green peppers are done (about 20 min).