Sunday, 3 November 2013

Persian Aubergine ....Nothing compares to Comfort Food, " Inexpensive & Low Calorie "






Everyone instinctively knows exactly what Comfort Food means, For me, it must be something fairly simple to make, satisfyingly tasty, maybe even wickedly indulgent . This Persian Aubergine dish is a take on the Vegetarian dish Imam Bayildi. It is warm, full of flavour & a substantial dish from the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean sea, where Europe meets Asia, not forgetting the influence of the Arab neighbours. These factors, all combined to give us a dish that offers the satisfaction which we all crave at some time, when we yearn for food that fills us with contentment. It cost nothing and taste like a million dollars.
With  "Value " in mind, I have sourced all ingredients from LIDL, and here is a Meal for Two,(or even four, depending how hungry you are !! ) all under €5.00 and under 300 calories per halves.


                                         

Aubergine also known as Eggplant or Brinjal, a long slender variety, found in Southern & Eastern Asia. This glossy deep purple vegetable has white flesh with a meaty texture. It is also low in fat, protein & carbohydrates. Aubergine is one of the most popular vegetable in the Middle east and has come to epitomise this Cuisine, whether grilled in it's skin and the flesh mashed up into a Baba ghanoush, grilled into Kebabs, layered into a Moussaka or casseroled into a Ratatouille, But the most famous Aubergine dish must be Imam Bayildi. A succulent and truly scrumptious Vegetarian dish, where this vegetable is stuffed with onions, garlic & tomatoes. Imam Bayildi is a truly celebrated dish in Turkey.
Here, I have added beef, to make it  more substantial and have everyday eating at it's best .



Ingredients :

Shopping list from Lidl.... Ireland and prices as of today 03/11/2013
  • 2 Aubergines @ €0.99 each
  • 250 grms Inisvale Irish beef, lean steak mince, @ €3.59 for 500 grms ( freeze the rest for later use )
  • 1 x tin of plum tomatoes ( drained and reserve the juice ) @ €0.37
From your larder... you will need
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of sumac
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp of mint
  • 1/2 tbsp of thyme
  • 4 tbsp of flat leaf parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
Pre heat Oven to 180c .
Cut the Aubergines in half, length ways. Scoop out the flesh, leaving a shell to hold the stuffing. Roughly chop the scooped out flesh.
Heat the oil in a heavy based pan, fry the beef until brown. Add the onions and continue to cook until softened. Add the garlic & spices, stirring until fragrant.Add some of the reserved tomato juice, if sticking to prevent the mix from burning .
Stir in the chopped up aubergine flesh,and the tomatoes, breaking them up with a fork . Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper , mint,thyme and simmer until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly .
Finally stir in the chopped parsley.
Spoon the stuffing back into the aubergine shells , place side by side in a shallow oven proof dish, Squeeze over some lemon juice and sprinkle all over with some couscous or fine bread crumbs.
Bake in the hot oven for 30-40 mins until tender and golden.

Variations :
Use mince lamb or mince turkey .
Use Courgettes , Peppers , Beef tomatoes or even large Spanish onions .

Vegetarian option mix aubergine flesh with cooked rice,peppers, toasted pine nuts & raisins
and drizzle over a b├ęchamel sauce ( optional ), grated Mozzarella or Feta Cheese .

Serve with crusty bread and a side salad .


Nothing Compares to Comfort Food . " Afiyet Olsun "



Tagged :aubergine-worldcuisine-healthy options-low-calories-imam bayildi





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