Couple months ago, Aldy and I got this huge package from our friend in New York and when we opened it, there were couple of books for Amelie and this Jerusalem Cookbook.

I couldn’t be more excited.

Jerusalem meals sound very foreign for me. I love arab food, but I have never tried or even thought about Jerusalem food. When I run through the pages, they actually have many easy recipes with familiar ingredients.  One recipe that caught my attention instantly is this stuffed eggplant.

I love eggplant, but normally in our household, the only way we cook eggplant is to fry them with chili paste (aka. balado terong).  So, I really want to try this one out.

Of course, me being a lazy gal, I change couple of ingredients from recipe with the one I have at home, like ground meat instead of lamb and sunflower seeds plus pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts.  This recipe also called for many foreign spices, but I just include whatever I have at hand.

This dishes turn out to be such a fulfilling meal for me and it is very delicious!

My simpler take on this recipe is as follows:

2 medium eggplant (cut into half), rub them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Saute chopped onion and garlic, mix the ground meat, nuts, seasoned with salt, pepper, and other herbs to your liking.  At this point, I think we can also add chopped carrots/paprika/tomatoes (if you want, totally optional). 

Put the meat mixture on top of the eggplant and baked them for 1 hour.