(Abant Kebabı - Bolu - Black Sea Region)
4 medium-sized eggplants
1⁄2 cup sunflower oil
1 cup hot water mixed with 1 tbsp crushed tomatoes
~300g lamb, in cubes
1 cup water, warm (to cook the lamb)
1 small onion, sliced
8-10 medium-sized mushrooms, cleaned, sliced
1 medium-sized tomato, peeled, diced
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled, sliced
1⁄3 cup celery root (celeriac), peeled, diced, keep in water with lemon juice for about 10 minutes)
1⁄3 cup sweet peas, frozen
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Bay leaf
1 tbsp crushed tomatoes, canned
3⁄4 cup hot water
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Pre-heat the oven to 500° F (260° C).
Peel alternating strips of skin lengthwise as seen in the picture for each eggplant. Sprinkle salt on top and put aside for about 20 minutes. Squeeze, and dry them with a paper towel. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry all around until the whole surface is nicely colored. Cut a slit in each eggplant and scoop out of the hard seeds if there are any, making sure they don't fall apart. Place them in an oven-proof dish.
Cook the lamb cubes in their own juice in a medium-sized pot. Add 1 cup of hot water and the onions. Cover and cook at low-heat until the lamb pieces are tender. Add the rest of the ingredients, cook until the vegetables are tender. Remove and discard the Bay leaf.
Using a spoon, fill the eggplants equally with the filling. Sprinkle the cheese all over the tops. Pour 1 cup of hot water mixed with 1 tbsp crushed tomatoes into the dish from the side.
Place on the middle rack and cook. If necessary, add a little more hot water.
Makes 4 servings.