Eggplant wraps, Iranian stylePosted: 30 September 2014
As a Persian saying goes “My eyes sees, my soul desires”, I initially just saw a picture of someone’s platter of eggplant wraps posted on her fb page.
The picture, posted from Tehran, did not contain any recipe and I was not personal enough with the owner to ask for one. So, I started looking into Persian food sites and blogs for the recipe without much success. Although the food itself is not Persian, the method of wrapping looked quite “Persianized”, pretty much in grape leaf dolemh fashion. I did however come up with a lot of scattered info, which coupled with my impression of the initial picture and some culinary creativity resulted in what you see and read below. It was my first experiment with eggplant wraps and I am delighted to say it turned just perfect – both physically and sensually.
For more classic Persian foods, pop in next Thursday, as a group of us Iranian food bloggers have arranged a Persian Food Round Up on the occasion of Mehregan. On Oct. 9th, we will post some of the best Fall related Persian dishes with the hash-tag #Meregan2014. On each post/blog you will find links to all of the other posts around the world.
- Ingredients (for a medium platter containing 6-8 wraps)
- 3 medium/large eggplants (not too round or curvy and about 20 cm long)
- 250 gr. ground meat (veal, beef, or lamb)
- 1 medium onion, cut into small cubes
- ½ tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 150 gr. grated Mozzarella cheese
- Salt and black powder pepper to taste
- Lots of oil!
Skin eggplants and slice each eggplant lengthwise about ½ cm. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. salt, rinse and leave in a colander for 1-2 hours. Pat dry completely. Fry eggplants on both sides in hot oil over medium heat until they are light brown. Remove each slice gently from the frying pan and place in a large metal colander or on paper towel to take as much excess oil as possible.
Heat 1tbsp. cooking oil in a frying pan and stir-fry onions (always over medium heat) till golden brown. Add ground meat and fry for ten minutes until brownish; stir constantly to separate the meat in smallest bits possible. Add turmeric, salt, pepper, and mix well. This is pretty much the basis and you could add a vegetable or two of your choice (such as minced garlic, mushrooms). I also stirred in tomato paste and at the very end, some chopped parsley.
Place two slices of fried eggplants in plus + shape. Spoon some ground beef mix in the middle.
Wrap the eggplants ends around the stuffing to form a perfect cube.
Cover the top of the wrap with grated cheese. Heat the oven to 250 F. Place an aluminum foil on your baking sheet and arrange the wraps on it and place in the oven for 10 minute, or before the cheese melts completely.
Gently transfer into the serving platter and serve hot. Eggplant wraps are good enough as the main course, but since they could turn a bit too greasy, you may want to serve them side-dish or appetizer. Enjoy! 🙂
PS: In case, you, like my dear, foodie-but-not-much-of-a-cook husband, is wondering that rose next to the wraps is not artificial nor is it a candle! It is made of tomato skin and here is how you can do it.