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https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/17961/ablama-eggplant-casserole-served-with-rice

LifestyleFOOD.com.au

Ablama (Eggplant Casserole served with Rice)

It may sound funny, but we assure you that this traditional Lebanese dish is absolutly delicious! Try it for yourself... Be sure to leave about 90 minutes for prep time.

Ingredients

  • 6 x Japanese eggplants

  • 1½ teaspoons salt

  • ½ cup (125mL) olive oil

  • 1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes

  • 1 x tablespoon tomato paste

  • Filling

  • 500g minced lamb

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon all-spice

  • 1 x tablespoon lemon juice

  • 20g cooking butter

  • ½ cup (80g) pine nuts

  • Rice

  • 2½ cups medium grain white rice

  • 5 cups boiled water

  • 1 x tablespoon cooking butter

  • 2 x teaspoons salt

Method

  • 1.

    Roughly peel eggplant and place in Water with ½ teaspoon of salt, set aside for an hour.

  • 2.

    Drain eggplant and pat dry with paper towel.

  • 3.

    Heat oil in large frying pan over high heat. Cook eggplants for 5 minutes per side until soft and golden brown.

  • 4.

    Remove from pan and drain on paper towel to drain excess oil.

  • 5.

    Make an opening in the eggplant by slightly cutting open the eggplant lengthways

  • 6.

    Add 2-3 tablespoons of meat filling into opening of eggplant then close.

  • 7.

    Lightly oil roasting tin. Arrange eggplants in tin and spread tomatoes over them.

  • 8.

    Add paste into a cup of water and pour over eggplants. Sprinkle remaining salt.

  • 9.

    Cover with aluminium foil and cook in oven for 15 minutes on 200 degrees.

  • 10.

    Serve with rice and some of the tomato liquid.

  • Filling:

  • 1.

    Put minced lamb in saucepan over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Stir frequently.

  • 2.

    Once mince has browned, add onion, garlic and salt, all spice and lemon juice.

  • 3.

    Stir to mix. Cook for further 5 minutes.

  • 4.

    In a separate saucepan melt butter over medium heat and cook pine nuts for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Stir constantly to prevent burning.

  • 5.

    Add pine nuts and melted butter to the mince and stir. Remove pot from heat.

  • 6.

    Add filling to opened eggplant.

  • Rice:

  • 1.

    Pre-soak rice in a bowl of water to remove starch.

  • 2.

    Pre heat pot on high for a minute followed by adding butter. Allow butter to melt.

  • 3.

    Add rice to pot, stir in salt. Add water.

  • 4.

    Cover pot and allow rice to cook for 15 minutes.

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