I’ve been planning to cook this ever since I bought the Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book ( Penguin, 1978). It is rather lengthy, however I much prefer aubergines after they have been salted and left to drain for a full hour so I knew it would be worth it.
Aubergine Kuku (Kukuye Bademjan)
4 aubergines (about ¾ quarters of a kilo)
2 large onions, chopped very coarsely
4 large eggs
2 heaped tablespoons flour
Salt, freshly ground pepper
Slice the aubergines in half lengthways, sprinkle with salt and leave for an hour before wiping them dry. Cook them with the onions in the oil – you may need two pans for this – until the vegetables are golden brown and soft. Scoop out the aubergine flesh and mash into the onions (discard the skins). A certain amount of oil is bound to be included, but drain off any conspicuous surplus.
Mix the vegetables with the remaining ingredients, using plenty of black pepper and a little lemon juice. Smooth out into a square or oblong pan, so the mixture is between 2 and 3cm (about 1 inch) thick, and has room to rise slightly. Bake for about 30 minutes at 200C /400F /GM6 or until the top is nicely browned and the edges crisp. Cut into diamonds to serve.
- I quartered the recipe.
- I made a huge mistake and chopped the aubergine further before cooking it – a huge mistake as I then had to pick out the bits of aubergine skin when it was cooked.
- I didn’t own a square dish small enough to make the quantity of mixture sufficiently deep so I improvised with foil and some more foil.
- Cut into diamonds!? This is beyond me. I went for triangles.
The end result was an unappealing colour but was soft, light, slightly juicy and very savoury. This is one of the best things I have made so far and will definitely be cooked again. I left some of it in the fridge for 3 days and reheated it in a dry frying pan – the flavour became sweeter and more mellow, the texture was still excellent.
When I make this again, I will experiment with chopping the onion more finely, perhaps even grating it, to see if I prefer it with a smoother texture.
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Baked by Elly