Karnıyarık (stuffed aubergines)

İ had request for my recipe of stuffed aubergines. So İ have to take the opportunity to post it here.

First comes the stuffed aubergine with minced meat, called Karnıyarık (literally meaning “split belly”). The recipe for the vegetarian stuffed aubergine called İmam Bayıldı will follow soon!


What you need for 4 people:

  • 4 aubergines/eggplants. Check out the right size, straight and not to small. The big round ones will not work for this recipe.
  • 500 grams of minced meat, you can use beef or lamb, or even a mixture İ prefer the half/half mixture of beef and lamb
  • 1 table spoon of olive oil (and more to fry the aubergines)
  • 2 onions
  • 4 green long peppers, not spicy (İ think they are called banana peppers), 2 cut is small rings and 2 cut into 2 halves lengthwise
  • 3 big tomatoes, 2 chopped up in small dice and 1 cut is 8 moon shaped slices
  • 1 table spoon of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • black pepper and salt to taste
  • chopped parsley



First peel 3 strips along the long side of the washed aubergine, that goes easiest with a sharp peeler. So you have a striped aubergine, 3 strips with peel and 3 strips peeled. Put a little salt on the peeled parts and let it rest for a while.


İn the meantime chop the onions in small pieces. Chop 2 tomatoes in small dices and thin rings of 2 of the peppers.

Fry the onion in one table spoon of oil until a bit soft. Add the minced meat, and make it crumbly with the back of the fork or spoon. Once just cooked, add the diced tomato and the bits of pepper and let it cook shortly more until the pepper is soft and there is not too much water from the tomato (so do not use a lid)

Wash the aubergines and dry them with a paper towel. Fry the aubergines in olive oil. Turn them around and be careful the oil is hot but not too hot. Be sure all sides are cooked well, and if the olive oil gets soaked in either add a bit more, but turning down the fire a bit also releases some of the soaked up oil. Test with a small pointed knife if the aubergine is soft, especially also at the 2 end bits. When cooked, take them out and put them on a paper towel and the soaked olive oil will be released.

Then place them in an oven dish, with a peeled side in the middle up and gently cut it open lengthwise about halfway in, be sure not to cut the aubergine from the bottom! Then fill it up with the minced meat mixture. You will use about half of the sauce that you have cooked.

Place on each aubergine 2 of the half tomato slices and one of the half peppers.

Whisk the tomato paste with the hot water, like tomato juice and pour that around the aubergines in the tray.

Place them in a 200°C preheated oven and let them cook until the pepper is soft. Be sure the oven dish does not get dry, if so add a little water.


Serve the aubergines with Turkish rice or Bulgur rice (recipes follow!) and you can add some more of the minced meat sauce around the aubergine to make it nice and rich, and at last sprinkle the freshly chopped parsley over the aubergine and sauce, voila!



Etli Kuru Fasulye (Turkish white beans with lamb)

This delicious winter dish needs a little bit of planning.

Personally İ normally can not decide what İ will cook the next day, but for this dish to be successful you have to soak the beans the night before, that is all actually.

This recipe is often cooked with dice of lamb, but İ prefer to use 2 lamb shanks, cooked together with the beans you get such a delicious full flavor (plus afterwards the dogs are very happy with the bones!)


What you need:

  • 500 grams dry white beans
  • little bit olive oil for cooking (in Turkey that is Riviera Zeytın yağ)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 lamb shanks or 250 dice of lamb meat
  • 1 table spoons tomato paste
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 orange chopped up in small bits
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon spicy pepper flakes
  • 1,5 liter of hot water
  • pepper and salt to taste



Soak 500 grams of dried white beans overnight.

For cooking the next day, use a pot that you can also use in the oven, so full metal.

First rinse the soaked beans and preheat the oven on 180°C

Then heat the olive oil a bit (be careful as olive oil burns quickly), fry the lamb shanks on all sides a bit until they have a nice color. Take them out and let them wait on the side. Fry the onion in the same oil until soft, add the garlic (İ prefer the full cloves in this dish), the tomato paste and the diced tomatoes – in summer İ would only use fresh tomatoes but in winter a can will do.

Stir and mix this all nicely together.

Then stir in the beans, the chopped orange, the hot water, the spicy pepper, thyme, salt and pepper and the hot water. All mix well, put the two lamb shanks in the mixture that they are under the bean mixture and put it in the oven without covering it. Let it cook for about 3 to 4 hours, every now and then stir and in the end if it gets too dry you can add a little water.

Serve with white rice and Afiyet Olsun!