Almost Turkish Recipes

Vegeterian Eggplant Stew (Etsiz Patlican Güveç)

If there's a hierarchy among vegetables, for me eggplant's place is secured at the top. Given the number of different eggplant dishes in Turkish cuisine, I think I'm not alone in my admiration of eggplant. In Turkish cuisine eggplant is used in various ways; we bake it, fry it, grill it, roast it, stuff it, paste it, puree it, use it as filling for pastries, wrap it around kebaps, and even make jam with it. There are a couple things to be careful about when cooking with eggplants. Buy eggplants right before you cook and pick the firmer ones. Eggplants tend to get soft in the refrigerator. Even though its skin is thick and sometimes bitter, do not peel it all the way; peel it lengthwise in 1/2 inch stripes. Once peeled eggplants darken fast. To prevent this you can take out the spongy middle part with seeds and keep eggplants in salty water until you cook them.

This is a perfect Mediterranean summer recipe with olive oil, garlic, and eggplant.

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 big eggplant or two medium ones, peeled lengthwise in stripes
1 zucchini, diced
1 potato, diced
2 tbsp pepper paste or tomato paste
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tomatoes, grated or 1 can of diced tomato processed in a blender
1/3 cup water or vegetable stock
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
black pepper
pepper flakes

-Saute onions, garlic, and eggplant with olive oil on medium heat for 15 minutes.
-Add tomato/pepper paste, stir for 1-2 minutes.
-Add the rest of the ingredients except parsley. Cover and cook on low for 40-45 minutes.
-Sprinkle parsley on top a minute or two before you turn it off.

Serve with rice and bread.


  1. That looks and sounds so good that I'm even more anxious for summer.

    I tried planting eggplant from seed last year with no luck. This year I'll buy plants.

  2. I haven't had eggplants straight from a garden in years. I'm jealous now; I want to have an eggplant plant with purple-ish flowers.

  3. Yummy! I love to know more eggplant dishes, and yours is a must try.

  4. Reminiscent of ratatouille -- the combination of eggplant and garlic and tomatoes. This looks like a wonderful recipe!

  5. Yes, ratatouille, I love ratatouille - this was the reason why I jumped to your site. For sure I'm going to make this dish in the next few days.

  6. Since his stay in Izmir years ago, Turkish dishes are a must for my husband. So I list this yummy one! :)

  7. Awesome photographs. I forgot to plant eggplant in my garden last year, and I won't make that mistake again.

  8. it looks superb. I like all the ingredients... if only I had egglants in the fridge right now...

  9. Burcu, I have all ingredients right now, I think I'll make this dish :D
    The photoes of the steam is amasing!!! Love them!

  10. Burcu, this is so good that I'm referring it to a friend of mine.

  11. merhaba burcu, i really like the smokes being captured in so many photos. you do it so well!

  12. Emily4:47 PM

    This looks gooood!
    I have 6 plants filled with eggplants, so I'm trying to find new ways to eat them and trying food from other cultures is always good fun.
    But over the hot summer, some of the eggplants turned yellow... I don't know if this is normal or dangerous or anything... I guess I'll have to try them and find out!

  13. Anonymous6:17 AM

    Aubergines/eggplants are best when young and tender. You might not want to harvest them while too small. So it is a question of trade-off between tenderness and size. Over time they develop seeds, and at the end of season they turn light colored and ripe. My mother always left a few to ripen, so she could have seeds for the next season. Buying at the green grocer you might notice some that have white streaks. That is usually OK. Some aubergines might be bitter, and may require treatment.

    Should this recepy not include also some rice (adding thereby some starch)? Should it not be served hot, with yoghurt that helps cool it?

  14. Thank you for the recipes! By the way, in addition to all the different ways of cooking eggplant and making jam with it, let's not forget we also pickle it!

  15. When picking eggplants, if you are allowed to touch them, pick the ones with smooth, nice feeling skins. Those tend to be just ripe and not that bitter. The Japanese ones are perfect too.

  16. I love your blog and this recipe was no exception! Just made it today and used thyme instead of parsley plus added a squeeze of pomegranate sauce at the end - delicious! :-)

  17. Anonymous4:00 PM

    So delicious!! Made this today, didn't have a potato so I substituted frozen hash browns. Worked just fine. Definitely great left over as well!