Alinazik (Smoky Eggplant Puree with Spiced Lamb and Yoghurt)
Alinazik is a specialty dish of the Gaziantep province of Turkey.
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 400-500 g lamb mince at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds crushed
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ – ¾ cup full-fat natural unsweetened yoghurt I used Greek yoghurt
- 20 g butter melted (optional)
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley mint or coriander (cilantro), chopped
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- flat breads warmed
- tomato and cucumber sliced
- Preheat oven to 230degC/445 Fahrenheit or BBQ to high.
- Prick eggplants in several places with a fork or tip of a sharp knife. Place whole eggplants on an oven tray and place in the oven for 1 hour or until their skins are charred and blackened.
- Leave eggplants to cool for 5-10 minutes, then peel their skins off (they should come off easily), chop the flesh and add to a food processor, along with lemon juice, garlic, tahini and extra-virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- Heat olive oil in a large fry pan over medium high heat. Add lamb mince, spices and salt, and cook until well browned, 7-10 minutes. If at any time the spices are sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning, just add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan and continue cooking.
- To serve, spoon eggplant puree into a serving bowl or platter. Dollop over yoghurt, scatter over lamb mince and drizzle over melted butter. Garnish with fresh herbs, and sprinkle over sumac. Serve with warm flatbreads, cucumber and tomato.
The inspiration for this alinazik dish came from a trip to Gaziantep with Intrepid Travel, where I ate this at a local stall, and fell in love with the combination of flavours (and so I just had to create my own version, with a twist!). This smoky eggplant puree is a dream with rich lamb – and the yoghurt cuts through it all to provide a welcome tang. Sumac makes this dish – if you can’t find it at your supermarket try looking in a middle eastern supermarket. To receive more travel-inspired recipes direct to your inbox, sign up to my newsletter here.