I was craving this traditional Levantine dish which I used to always have every time I visited Syria. Here’s an authentic recipe with pungent flavor!
- 1 kg eggplant
- 1 onion, diced into small pieces
- 2 cloves
- 3 cardamom seeds
- ¼ kg minced meat (optional)
- 3 pita bread sliced into squares (fried or placed in the oven until crispy)
- 2 cups tomato juice (canned or fresh)
- 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 kg plain yogurt
- 3 Tbs tahini
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 2 Tbs lemon
- ½ cup pine seeds & almonds, fried
- ¼ cup parsley
- Salt & pepper
Peel & cut the eggplant into medium sized cubes & fry. In separate pot, fry the onion, cloves, cardamom seeds for a few minutes then add the minced beef till thoroughly cooked. Once ready discard of the cloves & cardamom seeds.
While the beef cooks, cut pita bread in medium sized bite squares and either fry or bake in the oven until crunchy. On low heat, add the fried eggplants and tomato juice to the beef & onion, season. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the pomegranate molasses & set aside
In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, tahini, garlic, lemon, & ½ tsp of salt and mix well On low heat, pan fry the pine nuts & almonds until golden brown and set aside. Finely chop the parsley and set aside
Assemble in a deep bowl or a pyrex add ¾ the amount of crunchy pita squares. Add the cooked mixture on top and spread evenly. Top it off with the yogurt mixture. Garnish with finely chopped parsley and fried pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Can’t visualize how to make it? Here’s a great video from Zaytouneh. I made minor modifications to the recipe, but the steps remain the same.
Quick tip: Assemble the dish only when you are ready to eat so as not to lose the crunchy pita bread texture