Eggplant Kuku

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  • 8Servings
  • 20 mPrep Time
  • 1:30 hCook Time
  • 1:50 hReady In
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Among the many gifts my husband gave me when we were first married was a stack of 20 cookbooks. All were from different cuisines: Afghani, Persian, Moroccan, Turkish, Caribbean, Japanese, Chinese, South American, Cajun, Somali… well, you get the picture. I’m still trying to figure out what the take-away message is. He claims I’m the MacGyver of cooking. He thinks that if I were given a ruler, a tape measurer, and a pencil, I could create a four-course meal. I wish that were true.

I love cookbooks; one or two would have been nice. But 20, I hope he wasn’t making a comment on my cooking ability… I’m not sure if he gave me them for my enjoyment or his.

I have slowly been working my way through them. I feel privileged to discover, explore, and experience new cultures through their food. I love discovering new spices, new techniques, and exotic ingredients. Each time I do, I feel as though I have found a precious gem and I can’t believe I have lived so long without its beauty. I love the way the books look on the shelf. I love the smells permeating my kitchen and wafting through the halls. I love knowing my neighbors are probably jealous.

Most of the time, I create my own recipes or adapt recipes from other chefs to fit my cooking style. But sometimes, I need the security that comes from a recipe. It feels safe and comfortable to cook “alongside” an accomplished chef. I admit to knowing nothing of Persian cooking; there is no reason for me to bumble through it on my own. Enter Najmieh Batmanglij’s Persian Cooking for a Healthy Kitchen.

Flipping through the cookbook it is easy to see that I am in the hands of a master. I wrote to the publisher to see if I could share my favorite recipes of hers with you. They graciously granted me permission. This recipe takes almost 2 hours start to finish (most of that will be cooking time) so plan well; it’s worth it. Fair warning, I don’t recommend inviting guests over the night you cook this because you’ll want to eat it all by yourself.

Ingredients

Step by step method

  • To remove the bitterness from the eggplants, peel them and cut each into 5 lengthwise slices. Soak in a large bowl of water with 2 tbsp salt for 20 minutes, then drain. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Brush all sides of the eggplant with egg white.

  • In a non-stick skillet, brown eggplant on both sides in 1 tbsp oil. Remove from the skillet, cool, and mash with a fork.

  • In the same skillet, lightly brown onion and garlic in 1 tbsp oil over medium heat for 20 minutes; add to mashed eggplant.

  • Preheat oven to 350F.

  • Break eggs into a bowl. Add parsley, saffron water, lime juice, baking powder, flour, salt, and pepper. Beat thoroughly with a fork. Add the eggplant mixture to the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to taste.

  • Pour 1 tbsp oil into an 8-inch non-stick ovenproof baking dish and place it in the oven. Heat the oil; pour in the egg mixture and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove the dish and gently pour 1 tbsp oil over the egg mixture. Put the dish back in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes longer, until golden brown.

  • Serve Kuku in the baking dish or unmold it by loosening the edge with knife and inverting it onto a serving platter.

Chef Info

Samantha

Guest-Chef

I have always loved to cook, and the challenges of diabetes have not changed that. Healthy food can be beautiful, nutritious, and delicious, and doesn’t have to break the budget.

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