Tepsi… the mere word makes me swoon. When my mother-in-law died unexpectedly and much too early, it was the dish Enmar cooked to soothe us. When we visit my brother-in-law, it’s the first thing he requests. When I see a bowl of eggplant on the table, I know it’s coming. It’s also low-fat and heart healthy.
2 lbs. ground beef or lamb (you can use turkey if you prefer)
Penzey’s Morrocan spice mix to taste (about 1/4 cup)
4 chopped cloves of garlic
Four large tomatoes
2 large onions
2 large or three medium eggplant
1 24 oz. can tomato puree
Slice the eggplant into disks and salt them liberally to remove some of the water from them. Leave them on paper towels to drain while you work on the meat.
Mix the meat with the spices, salt, pepper and garlic, and form them into small shapes about the length and width of your first two fingers combined (about 1x1x3 inches). They’ll be the shape of short sausages or oblong patties. Brown them in a saute pan, then set aside.
Next, pat the eggplant disks dry as you can. Brown them in a saute pan over medium high heat, turning them once until they are slightly brown on both sides. Put them on clean dry paper towels to drain.
Next slice the onions into quarter inch slices and tomatoes into half-inch slices.
In a 9×12 baking pan, put a layer of meat patties on the bottom. Next add a layer of onions, then the eggplant, and finally the tomatoes. Pour the can of tomato puree over the top to cover. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the onions are tender. Serve over basmati rice with a side of greek yogurt.