kazan kebob (stuffed eggplant kebob)
Italian food is usually simple and easywe fake it to our satisfaction all the
time. But for good middle eastern grub, you need an authentic mother/mother-in-law from
the old country. Isgouhi continues to deliver culinary delights for us. This one has a
Turkish name coming from her own mom who grew up in Musa
Dagh (Turkey) and moved to marry and raise a family in Aleppo, Syria where this recipe
had its origins, maybe. (Aleppo was recently referred to by the Philly Inky as a culinary capital, a curious fact we'll
have to pursue further elsewhere.)
The first rendition of this recipe was done with the long narrow Chinese eggplants only
because there were a lot on hand at the timebut it was so delicious that bob
requested a special workshop to check the recipe Isgouhi had dictated to him. No good
Chinese eggplants were available at the last minute so the workshop reverted to the
traditional recipe. For the first time some weak attempt at quantifying the measurements
is made and bob is left speechless. A "pinch" of salt is actually 1/4 teaspoon.
Her teaspoon is a really piled high heaping flatware spoon equivalent to at least 2 level
measuring teaspoons. Her tablespoons are also piled high. Yikes! No wonder her recipes are
never quite the same when we do them. Looks like we'll have to revise all the previously
dictated recipes like we did here.
The traditional version was also good but the Chinese eggplants because of their small
diameter cross-sections virtually guaranteed both kebob and eggplant in each forkful. In
fact when she had done it with them, there was leftover kebob which she pressed around the
eggplants as well. Either way, we're big eggplant fans and we'll be doing this ourselves
- 2 lb eggplant: about 2 large eggplants or 4 to 6 Chinese eggplants (irregular size)
- kebob filling
- 3/4 - 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 c fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 - 5 medium cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 T Carolina long grain rice (to absorb oil/fat in meat)
- 2 t mint
- 1 t allspice
- 2 t paprika
- 1/8 t cayenne red pepper
- 1/4 t meat tenderizer
- 2 t salt
- 3/4 t black pepper
- 1 1/2 T tomato paste
- 1 lemon, juice of
- 5/8 c water
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1/4 - 1 t salt
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 1 lemon, juice of
- Peel the eggplants lengthwise, leaving alternating strips of skin for presentation
(optional). Cut them crosswise in 1/2 inch slices which stop short of cutting through the
bottom, to hold them together.
- Immerse the eggplants in salted water (put a plate over them to hold them under) and let
sit 10 minutes for regular eggplants, 1/2 hour for chinese eggplants. Then squeeze out the
- Meanwhile prepare the kebob ingredients and mix together well.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients.
- Press the meat into a wedge between each pair of eggplant slices to a 1/2 inch
separation at the top, causing the eggplant to curl around in an arc.
- Arrange in a pressure cooker and pour the sauce evenly over the eggplants, most of which
will end up at the bottom so that the pressure cooker can do its job.
- Bring to a boil without locking the cover, then if you are able to test for spices, do
it and adjust at this point. ani can do this. bob cannot.
- Lock the cover and cook 10 minutes (quick release) or 7 minutes (slow release).
- bob forgot his camera so he had to borrow Isgouhi's (which bob and ani had picked up as
a gift in a rare NYC weekend visit) for the cooking school