Eggplant Boats With Middle Eastern Spices

Wow your family and friends with these darling little eggplant boats by serving up a big dollop of flavor with less oil than many traditional eggplant dishes. 

The secret is in baking, rather than frying, the eggplants to their tender, flavorful best.


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • Olive oil
  • 500 g (1 lb) ground beef or lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. baharat (mixed spices)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Without removing the stem, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise, then lightly brush with olive oil and place in a preheated oven, cut side up. Bake until completely soft and a beautiful golden brown.
  • Heat a small amount of oil in a pan and add the onions. Sauté until just beginning to turn golden on the edges, then add the ground beef or lamb and cook till nearly done through. At this point, drain off any excess oil. Return pan to the flame and add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, baharat, salt, and pepper and continue to cook until the meat is well done and the flavors have melded together.
  • Leaving the eggplant in the baking dish, slice partway down the center of each, carefully pulling it open just enough to stuff some of the meat mixture inside. Divide the meat evenly between them, piling the rest over top, then return to the oven for 8-10 minutes. Serve on individual plates with a nice salad.

Happy eating!

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