First time I tried this lovely Turkish dish was many years ago at my friend Candans, I fell in love with them! Even though the qofte or meatball might not be traditional, its my way ( I should say mama’s way) of making a moist and flavourful meatball, for the most part I would say its the same, but mama always moistens her bread with milk, and since forever has added a bit of ketchup, so I do the same!:) I use my own tomato-sauce for this as it just so much tastier than store bought, but of course if you don’t have any, get the best tasting plain tomato sauce, I recommend buying a can of diced tomatoes and pureeing them, when I am out of homemade that is what I do.
You may need 2 eggplants for this depending how large your eggplant is, and how big or small you make your meatballs.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 pieces of bread
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 kitchen tsp seasoning salt
- 1 kitchen tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 kitchen tsp black pepper
- 1 kitchen tsp cumin
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 tomato
- 1 cubenelle pepper
- tooth picks
- 1 cup tomato sauce
Prepare the tomato and peppers on toothpicks for garnish.
Cut eggplant from the top to bottom in thin strips not too thin enough to be able to fry and wrap the meatballs. Fry the eggplant in a pan with oil season with salt.
Place on a paper towel lined pan to soak oil; set aside.
Take bread and soak in milk along with the bread crumbs (if its too dry add more milk), add to bowl with meat, add the egg.
Add seasonings, onion and ketchup. Mix in all ingredients well, shape into meatballs.
Take a piece of eggplant place meat ball in the middle, use the toothpick to close up the wrap.
Spread the tomato sauce on bottom of 13×9 inch glass pan. Lay the eggplant rolls on top of sauce. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 mins or until meatballs are cooked.