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Sultan’s Delight
There is a little bit of work in char-grilling the eggplant but it is well worthwhile to get that smoky eggplant flavor. Anyone who has had the wonderfully smoky baba ghanoush will appreciate that. When I make this recipe, I prepare the eggplant the day before on the BBQ when I am cooking something else such as kebaps. The smoky flavors have a chance to further develop. I also marinate the meat overnight.
Servings Prep Time
4people 30minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1hour 12hours
Servings Prep Time
4people 30minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1hour 12hours
Eggplant Puree Ingredients
  1. Place the lamb in a bowl. Add the garlic. Add 1 of the 2 bay leaves and 1 of the 2 chopped salad onions. Add the tomato paste and the pepper paste. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Stir to combine, cover with kitchen wrap and refrigerate overnight or until needed.
  2. Place the whole eggplant on an open bbq grill (open fire or gas)*. Cook over a high heat and turn occasionally until the skin is charred. Remove and allow the eggplant to cool. They may collapse at this stage. Don’t worry that is what we want! When cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthways and remove the flesh leaving behind the charred skin. Mash, cover with kitchen wrap and store in the refrigerator until needed for the puree.
  3. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil and the remaining bay leaf and salad onion. Stir until the onion is translucent. Add the green bell peppers and stir for a further 1 minute. Then add the reserved lamb mixture, tomatoes, dried figs, butter and hot water. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Check for seasoning when about to serve.
Eggplant Puree
  1. When the stew has about 10 minutes to go, prepare the eggplant puree. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over a low to medium heat. Add the flour and stir for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium. Then slowly add the milk, whisking as you go. Then add the eggplant mash, stirring often for about 5 minutes. The mixture should thicken. Then add the feta cheese and stir for a further 2 minutes.
  2. To serve, place the eggplant puree on the plates and top with the stew. Garnish with the parsley.
Recipe Notes

It really is worth using lamb for this dish. Lamb will produce a moister meat as the fat slowly bastes the stew as it cooks. It also has a wonderfully slight, gamey flavor. If you must, you can substitute with a good quality stewing beef.  If you live in the US and you can’t source lamb, we have seen Australian legs of lamb sold in Costco or you can purchase from here.

To make the dish Gluten Free substitute corn starch, arrowroot or other flour of your choice for plain white flour. In this recipe, the flour is merely a thickening agent.

For an authentic, Turkish tomato paste, try this.

The Turkish pepper paste gives this dish an underlying depth of flavor. If not using, double the amount of tomato paste or Turkish tomato paste.

For something a bit different and very Turkish, add the dried figs. You could also use fresh figs and if so, add these to the stew right at the end of the cooking process.

The whole eggplant can also be cooked under a hot broiler (grill). If so, use a metal rack and place foil underneath to catch the drips. We char-grill the eggplant on the day that we purchase them and then let the smoky flavor develop in the fridge until they are needed for the puree.

The goat’s milk feta is quite sharp and mildly salty. Source the product in better delicatessens or Amazon.