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April Recipe: Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant That Tastes Even Better Than it Looks

April Recipe: Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant That Tastes Even Better Than it Looks

  • In this inaugural food post in American Kahani, I am sharing a recipe which I developed with insight from similar Mediterranean offerings.

Every foodie, every chef has a style and a USP which is unique to them. For me, it is food which looks appealing to the eyes, tastes even better than it looks and is a health first offering. Although this dish is very filling, it is extremely light on body because of good, low fats and healthy grains all in one delicious package. You should be able to find most of the ingredients in your local Indian grocery or stores such as Costco and Trader Joe’s.


Multigrain medley – 1-1/2 cups (I used Ancient Grains medley from Costco and these are naturally grown non-GMO grains.)

Wild Rice – ¾ cup

Asparagus – 6 stalks, cut to ¼ inch pieces

Black cumin seeds – 3/4 Tsp

Red/orange Bell Pepper – One bell pepper cut in small cubes

Red Onion – 1 Medium, cubed in ¼ inch chunks using a knife (3/4 cup)

Vegetable/Chicken broth – 32 Oz carton, or 4-5 cups homemade

Green Peas – 1 Cup

Scallions – 3 pieces, sliced thin

Garlic – 4 cloves, freshly peeled.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – ¼ cup (I prefer EVOO from Tunisia, Spain or Greece for their fruity profiles)

3 Whole medium/large eggplants about 1-1/4 Lbs each

Basil Pesto – ¼ cup, better if freshly made

Calabria Chili-Paste – 2 heaping tbsps 

Salt – Preferably pink Himalayan salt

Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley – 1 Bunch, thinly sliced

Chopped oil marinated olives – 1 cup

See Also

Breadcrumbs (Italian) – ½ cup

Cilantro leaves – 1 bunch, chopped to a cup (chopped)

Baby Organic Spinach – 1 bunch

Crumbled Feta Cheese- ¼ cup

Sun-dried tomatoes in oil – 1/3 cup, julienned

Artichoke hearts in oil – ½ cup, sliced

Cow Ghee – 2 tbsp (replace with EVO if preferred)


  • Soak wild rice in filtered water which has been heated to be warm to touch. Soak for one hour.
  • Heat Veg/Chicken stock in a stock vessel until near boiling.
  • In a thick bottom stainless vessel, Heat 1 Tbsp ghee and toss black cumin in it when hot. Add ½ the minced garlic (2 cloves worth), followed by ¼ cup of red cubed onions. Let the contents cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until onions begin to get translucent. Add parsley and multi-grain medley. 
  • Stir on medium heat for two minutes, then add the heated stock to the rice pan so as to cover the rice and little bit more to be absorbed by the expanding rice. Add salt per taste. Turn the heat medium low, and cook for 10 minutes, then move the pan to small burner and at the lowest setting. 
  • Let the contents cook on for another 5-6 minutes, keeping it covered. Turn the gas off but let the multi-grain medley sit covered for another 20 minutes. When done, the grains should be separated, and fluffy. 
  • In parallel, using a saucepan with a lid, strain the soaking wild rice, and cook in heated stock+ a little filtered water for about 28-30 minutes on low-medium flame, covered but stirring once every 5 minutes. Only use the amount of stock+water so that no water is left in the pan once the rice is cooked. Turn the gas off and leave covered.
  • Now, make a thin slit in each eggplant, lengthwise leaving an inch on each end. Put the eggplants in a microwave for 3 minutes on high to soften them a little as they need to be scored and opened up like a boat.
  • Now cut on the two ends of the opening in each eggplant to score a ‘X’ shaped cut(refer to the pic), saving the bottom 1/2 inch from a cut. Scoop out the insides of each eggplant.
  • Rub the insides of each eggplant with olive oil. Broil each eggplant for 3 minutes at 500 degrees, 3 inches from heating elements to slightly roast the inside under direct heat. Mix pesto, chili paste and salt (per taste) together using a spoon. rub each eggplant with the pesto+chili+salt mix so as to season each eggplant from the inside.
  • Place a greased ceramic or clay pot roaster pan in oven, on second rack from bottom and set to pre-heat at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Now heat up a wok. Add 2 tbsp EVO, followed by Kala Jeera on smoking high heat. Add other ingredients really quickly – minced garlic, remaining (1/2 cup) cubed onions, scooped, scooped out eggplant, green peas, asparagus, bell pepper cubes – cook on high heat for 4 minutes. Add scallions, any other seasoning you prefer, cooked grain medley, cooked wild rice, breadcrumbs, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts (chopped) and stir fry all of it on high heat. 

  • Add chopped olives, feta cheese, and cilantro, stir and remove from fire right away. Taste the stuffing mic thus prepared for heat, salt, spice and adjust as preferred.
  • In each broied eggplant, stuff the just prepared stuffing mix, top off with baby spinach, poke sides with toothpicks sticking out a bit, and tie a baking twine around to keep the contents tightly inside. Tie a knot on each.
  • Increase heat of the oven to 450 degrees, set the setting to convection heat so as to run the fan while baking. If you don’t have a convection oven, increase the bake cycle by 5 minutes.
  • Brush a bit of EVOO on all the eggplants from the outside and roast in your pre-heated roasters at 450 degrees F, uncovered, on convection setting for about 40-50 minutes to the desired degree of doneness. Shut the oven off and let the eggplant cool in its roasting pan for 10 minutes, uncovered, outside the oven.
  • Transfer each stuffed eggplant to a plate, cut the baker’s twine, remove all toothpicks which were holding the twine together, then serve one eggplant to each diner. Each eggplant is a complete meal for one person.

Ansh Sarkari has varied interests which range from gourmet cooking, to foraging for wild-mushrooms, photography to knife sharpening to politics. He researches foods from around the globe and using his nearly four decades of food-centric travels, he has amassed keen insights into food identities of various nations and cultures, and how some even may correlate. He is always tinkering with techniques, spices and uses his deep expertise in all things fire to try to elevate foods of all kinds. Ansh lives in the Midwest with his wife and two grown up children.

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