Recipe: Meat and Vegetable Casserole - Tepsi Baytinijan

by Habeeb Salloum, Apr 1, 2006 | Destinations: Iraq / Baghdad

Serves about 6

1 eggplant, about 1 pound
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, peeled, then cut into 1/2 inch thick round slices (3 medium potatoes may be substituted)
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2 inch thick round slices
1 pound ground lamb or beef
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick round slices
1/2 cup water

Peel eggplant, then halve lengthwise and slice into half rounds about 1 inch thick. Place on a platter and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan, then fry eggplant slices over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until light golden, adding more oil if necessary. Drain on paper towels.

In the same oil, always adding more if necessary and stirring once in a while, lightly fry the carrots and onions over medium heat for 10-minutes, then set aside.

In the meantime, thoroughly combine meat, half the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin, and cayenne, then form into small balls. Fry in same frying pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, adding more oil if necessary and stirring once in a while, then set aside.

Combine water, the remaining salt, garlic, pepper and cumin, then set aside.

Arrange the eggplant pieces on the bottom of a casserole, then arrange evenly on top carrot rounds and slices of tomatoes in that order. Spread meatballs evenly between the tomato slices, then pour water mixture on top.

Cover and bake in a 350º F preheated oven for an hour, then serve hot from the casserole.

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