Mid-Eastern Eggplant Rolls

(2 votes)

2 large eggplants
olive oil for frying
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cooked, mashed garbanzo beans
2 teaspoons asafetida* or 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups finely chopped, fresh parsley
1 cup cooked bulghur wheat
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons sesame tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Yogurt Sauce:
2 cups plain yogurt
32 finely chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup finely diced tomato
2 teaspoons dill weed
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Make Yogurt Dressing (see below) and cook garbanzo beans. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1/2 cup uncooked bulghur; then cover and allow grain to cook while preparing the rest of the ingredients. To prepare eggplant, cut tops and thin slices of round edges from opposite side of eggplant. Now cut 1/4-inch thick slices lengthwise.

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet. Lay slices of eggplant in to cook over medium heat with lid on, adding more oil if needed. (Eggplant absorbs oil as it cooks, so watch to be sure there is enough oil to keep eggplant from sticking to skillet.) When you can see the top surface and edge of eggplant slices take on a wet, almost translucent appearance, flip over and cook for same length of time on other side. Remove from heat when whole slice is cooked through and tender. Cook all the slices in the same way.

Make filling by pouring olive oil and garbanzo beans into skillet and lightly mashing (so beans get crushed, but don't mash into a paste). Add spices and sauté together for a few minutes to disperse flavor of spices. Turn off heat and add next 6 ingredients. Mix well. Filling is now ready to go into cooked eggplant slices. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread 1/4-1/3 cup filling in a strip across width of cooked eggplant slice about 1/3 of the way up. Roll small edge over filling, continuing till eggplant is completely rolled. Place seam side down in a baking dish, securing with a toothpick if you like (it's not really necessary, though). Fill tray, arranging rolls in rows side by side. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. To serve, place 2-3 rolls on a plate, pour yogurt sauce over them, and sprinkle with paprika. Makes 6-8 servings.

Yogurt Sauce:
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate while making eggplant rolls to allow flavors to blend. Makes enough to pour over 6-8 servings.

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