Armenians have been scattered all over the world for a century now and depending on where they live, they have their own take on recipes. This dish I learned from an Armenian woman that was originally from Aleppo. It is sooo good there are no words to explain and the tahini sauce drizzled on top gives it a deep earthy flavor that is hard to match. Its easy to make, just a matter of chopping the ingredients finely together but if you are in a hurry just use a food processor to do the work for you! Also, you can get already hollowed eggplants…The filling should look like tabboule but with lots of rice. Hope you give it a try and let me know in a comment how much you loved this!!
Quantities for 3
- 1/2 kg small eggplants, about 12 small ones, hollowed
For the filling:
- 1 cup short grain rice, washed
- 4 ripe tomatoes, diced very small or grated
- 1 onion, diced in small cubes
- 1/2 bunch of parsley, chopped finely
- 1/4 bunch fresh mint, chopped finely
- 2 lemons, squeezed
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil, about
- Salt and mild paprika to taste
- 1 cup of water
For the Tahini Sauce:
- 1 cup tahini
- 3/4 cup of the cooking sauce
- In a big bowl mix all your prepped ingredients: rice, tomatoes, onion, parsley, mint, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon tomato paste & olive oil and season with salt and paprika to taste.
- Start stuffing the eggplants leaving about 1/2 cm free at the end as the rice will swell while cooking. Note that the filling is very watery. If halfway through stuffing the eggplants you feel like its too watery, strain the filling but keep the liquid as you will add it to the pot as part of the cooking sauce.
- Arrange the stuffed eggplants in a deep pan.
- In the bowl in which the stuffing was add cup of water and 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste. Mix and pour it on top of the eggplants.
- Bring to the boil and lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about half hour or until eggplants feel tender if pricked with the tip of a knife.
- Gently transfer the cooked eggplants to a serving dish.
- Add the tahini to a bowl and start adding the cooking sauce a bit at a time whisking all the time. The tahini will become a paste and will look weird…continue adding the sauce till you finish the 3/4 of a cup.
- Start adding some water until the sauce is thick and smooth.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.