Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fetteh Badinjan

All the separate components of this are so good, the finished product can't fail. Right now I'm waiting for my dear sweet husband to come home so we can mix this all up and dive in.


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
1-2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp. dried mint
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt

3 cups plain yogurt
3-4 cloves garlic, to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1 cup canola oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Chopped flat-leaf or curly parsley (I prefer flat-leaf)

Pita chips, store bought or homemade. I like Stacy's, but if I'm not in a hurry, homemade pita chips are divine. See recipe for fatoush for instructions.


First, prepare the peeled and cubed eggplant by sprinkling the salt over it, tossing well to coat, then allowing it to rest in a colander while you prepare the sauce.

To make the sauce, saute onion over medium/high heat until translucent, then reduce heat and add tomato, mint, pomegranate molasses, pepper and salt. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Simmer on low while you prepare the other ingredients.

Before you fry the eggplant, rinse off the salt and gently squeeze excess moisture from the eggplant with your hands. Pre-heat canola oil 1/4 cup at a time over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet until hot but not smoking. Carefully fry the eggplant in two batches to avoid overcrowding in the pan, turning when brown bits start appearing on the bottom of the pieces. You will notice that the eggplant absorbs quite a lot of oil, so after turning the eggplant, add another 1/4 cup. I know what you're thinking...just keep it to yourself. :o) Fry until golden brown, then transfer to a paper towel.

Drain any excess oil from the pan and toast the pine nuts until golden brown, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn. Remove to a separate dish, then saute the ground beef, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Fold the eggplant into the tomato sauce.

Now, layer!
Bottom: In a large, shallow dish, layer 3-4 cups pita chips.
Next: Spread the tomato/eggplant mixture over top.
After that: Yogurt mixture
Finally, decoratively arrange the ground beef, chopped parsley, and pine nuts on top 'cause it's purty and because then people can help themselves to their favorites.

Good cooks'll tell ya
My sweet mother-in-law says the proper way to do the eggplant is to really deep-fry it until brown, but I wimped out. But you can try it!


Layla said...

Wow! This is something new! My parents are Iraqi as well, and I have never seen this dish before or even heard of it. I will surely try it out. I'm on the East Coast as well, in NC. Where do you live?

Thanks again for all the great recipes! I will be stopping by again.


Bethany said...

Thanks for stopping by Layla! We're in the DC area. This recipe is really so good; my only advice is to make only enough as you want to eat, because the leftovers tend to be soggy because of the pita chips.

Take care!


Anita Tedaldi said...

This looks awesome. I'm going to try it tonight!

anas said...

hi ...

l am from mosul and l liked your site....

l have collected about 150 traditional muslawi dishes including many that are unique to this city

l will comment more on your site..

anas said...

l have these notes about your dishes

- it is very strange that u used raw meat to fill your kubba

-fatoush , fatte and taboule are NOT muslawi dishes..they are syro-palestinian

- is daube anarabic word ? . .never heared of it

-the dish u called kubba khaise.. is different from the one l know..(wich is kubba in simple syrup with apricot.... if apricots in your dish is replaced with dry dates the it becomes kara zengi dish or zbibiyyi


l know ALOT of dishes and l am glad to help u

Bethany said...

Thank you for stopping by Anas, and thank for your comments! I would love to try a recipe if you would like to share it with me.

To answer your comments, in this blog I am not trying to present 100% Muslawi recipes. Instead, I am writing about the way my family-in-law cooks and how I cook in an American kitchen. Since every family does things a little differently, it is likely that our food will be different from yours.

You are correct, Daube is a French word, but the dish is Arabic.

Everyone is my husband's family makes kubba with raw meat with rice on the outside. We do not fry it, we boil it.

The way to make kubba khaesi (for which I do not have an exact recipe) is my mother-in-law's invention. Like all good cooks, she cooks the way she likes, and we like how she cooks!

Again, if you would like to share one of your recipes, I would really love to try it.


Anonymous said...

Noticed you have not posted any recipes lately. Sure would like to see some more of your tasty dishes.