Dried eggplant dolma is one of the other delicious dishes of Gaziantep. This dish is served usually as starter in the kebab restaurants. You might think that the amount of ingredients given below is way too much but I usually keep some for a day or two and the rest I keep in the deep freeze. When there are guests, it is a great pleasure to serve some of these dolma’s as starters! Totally home-made!
You can find the dried eggplants in strings in the Turkish supermarkets. In Belgium it was no problem to find these, so I can imagine no problem elsewhere.
The recipe is for dried eggplant; however in the pictures you will see some kind of courgettes as well. The procedure for these is also the same. In Turkey, there are many other variations to these dolma’s from dried vegetables such as dried courgettes, dried red peppers (paprika like), dried gherkin… The filling is the same in all these cases and the procedure to an important extent as well.
35 – 40 dried eggplants
3 glasses of rice, washed
4 or 5 medium to big size onions, in small cubes
Olive oil (I usually don’t measure the amount of olive oil I use to cook things. Instead, I usually add so much to have a thin layer of oil covering the whole surface of the pot in which I am cooking)
Lemon juice from 2 lemons, or lemon salt
3 spoons of tomato paste (domates dalçasi)
2 spoons of red pepper paste (biber salçasi)
3 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 - 3 glasses of warm water (depending on the quality of the rice you use, the rice will need less or more water in order to get soft. I cook the rice until it is not hard anymore; but also not too soft, as the rice will be cooked some more in the eggplant as well. We don’t want it too soft)
Pepper and salt to your liking
Cumin and pimento to your liking
- Boil the dried eggplant for about 15 to 20 minutes. If my nail can go into the flesh of the eggplant, then they are ready.
- Rinse the eggplant in cold water multiple times until the water becomes transparent again. This procedure is important in order to release the bitter taste of the eggplants.
- Heat the olive oil, sauté the garlic and the onions together for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add both the tomato and the pepper paste and continue sautéing some more.
- Add the rice and sauté for one minute and then add the warm water and close the lid (see the comments in the ingredients section in regards with the amount of the water to be used). Let it simmer.
- Once the filling is ready, I spice it and then close the lid and let the filling cool down a bit. Otherwise, it is not pleasant to work with hands burned while stuffing the dried eggplants J
- Add the lemon juice to the filling and mix it slowly.
- Stuff the eggplants with the filling.
- In a wide pot, place the stuffed eggplants side by side. Add a bit of warm water and cook it on low fire with the lid closed. If your rice was soft while preparing the filling, 20 – 30 minutes of cooking should be enough. If the rice was still a bit hard being on the edge of soft, then cook some more. You can check whether or not the rice is soft enough for you after 20 minutes anyway.
|steps 3 and 4|
|haylan kabagi (haylan courgettes stuffed)|
|step 9 for haylan courgette|