Stuffed Dried Eggplants and Peppers in Olive Oil
(Zeytinyağlı Kuru Dolma)
10-12 dried eggplants
10-12 dried peppers
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup rice, rinsed
2 medium-size onions, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp red pepper paste
1 tsp allspice
1 tbsp mint
1/2 tsp paprika
4 tbsp pomegranate syrup
1 cup water
Soak the dried eggplants and peppers in hot water for half an hour and drain.
Meanwhile, to prepare the stuffing; Saute the onion with olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and salt, stir and cover. Cook at very low heat until the rice looks almost see-through. Then, add the remaining ingredients. Cook until all the water evaporates, stirring occasionally at low heat. Put it aside and let it cool down.
Stuff the vegetables with the filling using a teaspoon. Leave some space at the top. Squeeze or flatten the tops to close them up.
Arrange them in a medium-size pot along with 2 cups of water. Place a small plate upside down over the Dolmas - this is to prevent the tops from opening during cooking. Cover and cook at medium-low heat.
*You can find the dried eggplant, dried pepper or dried okra at the local Turkish Grocery Stores.
Dietician Turgay Köse: Dried fruits and vegetables have high nutrient levels
"When foods are dried properly, their nutritional value is actually high compared with their fresh counterparts. With no water, these fruits and vegetables harbor no bacteria either. The only real loss is that after being dried, their vitamin C levels go down. If fruits and vegetables are exposed to sulfur while in the drying process, or if they are kept in the shade, or if, before drying, they are heated briefly in steam, the loss of vitamins is decreased. Storing them in dark and cool places can really protect vitamin levels. When buying fruits and vegetables, make sure you choose the freshest ones, the ones which are most plentiful that season. So really, dried fruits and vegetables can be quite healthy. But of course, due to the decrease in water levels, their calories are four times that of their fresh versions. So, it's really better not to consume them in undue quantities.”
Labels: Olive Oil Dishes