I am back again with yet another eggplant/aubergine dish. This one has its origins in Lebanese and Egyptian cuisines. When I travelled to Egypt I think I tried out more stuffed vegetables that I could imagine and the inspiration for making this Lebanese recipe came from my travels and love of the middle eastern flavors and spices.
This dish is called Mahshi Batinjaan. Batinjaan is eggplant. You can prepare the dish stuffed with meat or vegetable. I have used a stuffing mixed with rice. Any leftover stuffing can be cooked to a side dish.
The eggplants here are small and cylindrical ( Indian eggplants).
Chickpeas are easy to soak overnight and then cook in a pressure cooker for 10 mins. I avoid the canned version but they can certainly be used here.
I have also used my “go to” cooking companion – the pressure cooking for cooking the Mahshi. It really does make life easier. You can, however, slow cook in a pan – just add some extra water and time.
- 15 small batinjaan (eggplant)
- 1 cup rice – washed1
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes ( canned or fresh)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup finely chopped zuchinni
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes in juice
Putting it together:
- Wash the eggplant and cut thin slice from the round end, hollow carefully with small spoon, or an apple corer. Keep the stem/cap on, just trim it a bit. Sprinkle with some salt and set aside while you prepare the stuffing.
- Make the stuffing by mix the rest of the ingredients and moisten with a cup of water – reserve the last 1/2 cup of tomatoes.
- Stuff the eggplant.
- Place 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes with their juices in a pressure cooker.
- Place stuffed eggplant on top of tomatoes in neat layers.
- Cook under pressure 10 minutes, then simmer uncovered until mahshi are very tender and sauce has thickened
- If the stuffing remains you can cooked it as a rice pilaf as I did to serve with the dish.
- Sprinkle with some parsley and serve warm of cold.