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Shared by Robina Shapiro

Turkish Eggplant Dolma

Yield: 6-8Time: 1 H 15 MIN

Turkish Eggplant Dolma

Yield: 6-8Time: 1 H 15 MIN

Family Journey

Basra, IraqIranIsrael
New York City

This recipe was shared by Robina Shapiro. Read more about her family in "The Ashkenazi Protector of a Family’s Iraqi Jewish Recipes" and try her recipe for khoresh e karafs (sweet and sour beef stew with celery) and polo with tahdig (crispy Persian rice).


  • 3 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed and roughly torn
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • Two 1-pound eggplants (preferably with an elongated shape)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate*
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
  • Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Cooking ProjectsMain CoursesMeat Middle East


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cover the torn bread with ½ cup of the water and mash with your hands into a paste. Add the beef, the 2 teaspoons of salt, the cumin and the 1 teaspoon of pepper. Mix by hand until well incorporated, then set aside.

  • Step 2

    Remove the tops and bottoms of each eggplant, then thinly slice each lengthwise into ¼-inch slices, discarding the end pieces (you want both sides of each slice to be the white flesh of the eggplant with the skin on the outside edges to hold it together when cooking).

  • Step 3

    In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper, then toss in the eggplant slices to coat completely. Transfer the slices to a colander to drain for 5 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and prepare a sheet pan, lined with paper towels. Working in batches, fry a few slices of the eggplant, flipping once, until golden and softened, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the slices to the prepared sheet pan to drain and repeat until all the eggplant is fried, adding more oil to the pan if needed as you fry.

  • Step 5

    Once the eggplant slices have cooled, work one at a time to stuff them by placing 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture at the base of each slice, then rolling them lengthwise. Place each roll next to each other in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

  • Step 6

    In a medium bowl, stir the remaining 1/2 cup water with the tomato sauce, tamarind concentrate and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, then pour over the eggplant to coat. Bake until the edges of the eggplant are golden and the filling is fully cooked, 35 to 40 minutes.

  • Step 7

    Remove from the oven and garnish with feta and chopped parsley, then serve.

  • Step 8

    *Traditionally, lemon juice would be used, but Robina likes to use tamarind for sweetness and tartness.