Adana Style Stuffed Eggplants And Zucchinis

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 they usually use sundried eggplants and zucchinis Adana Style Stuffed Eggplants and Zucchinis (Adana Usulü Patlıcan ve Kabak Dolması)

Years ago, my mom went to Adana–one of the “kebap” capitals of Turkey–to visit her cousins. In stead of kebap, she brought back this eggplant + zucchini dolma recipe. In Adana, they usually use sundried eggplants and zucchinis; however, in the northwestern part of Turkey it’s not easy to sundry vegetables as it is in the southeastern part, so we modified the recipe by replacing sundried vegetables with fresh ones.

With the following ingredients I stuffed 12 big dolmas (6 eggplants + 6 zucchinis). If you’re not planning to stuff so many of them, use half of it.

6 small eggplants (as seen in the picture)
2 huge zucchinis (I cut each in three equal pieces)

for stuffing:
1/2 pound ground meat
2 cups of white rice (never use basmati rice)
3 onions, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, grated or 1 can of diced tomato
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch dill, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped or 1/3 cup dried mint flakes
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt

for the sauce:
8 cloves of garlic, minced
6 tbsp olive oil or butter
2 tbsp dried mint flakes2 tbsp hot pepper paste
1 tsp or more pepper flakes
juice of two lemons

 they usually use sundried eggplants and zucchinis Adana Style Stuffed Eggplants and Zucchinis (Adana Usulü Patlıcan ve Kabak Dolması)
 they usually use sundried eggplants and zucchinis Adana Style Stuffed Eggplants and Zucchinis (Adana Usulü Patlıcan ve Kabak Dolması)

-In a big bowl mix well all the ingredients for the stuffing
-For the eggplants: cut the tops off, peel them in striped pattern, and carve them with a potato peeler or a spoon. After carving, put the eggplants in a bowl filled with salty water to prevent darkening. Make a little cut at the bottom or on the side of eggplants and zucchinis with a knife so that they can cook thoroughly
-For the zucchinis: I picked 2 huge zucchinis to make carving easier. The zucchinis were from farmer’s market and organic, so I did not peel them. I cut them into three equal pieces and carved them with a potato peeler and it was very easy. In the end they looked like weird coffee mugs
-Stuff the eggplants and zucchinis with the stuffing and place them in a big wide pot facing up. Add water to the pot. It shouldn’t cover the dolmas; the water level should be 1 or 1 1/2 inches below the top

 they usually use sundried eggplants and zucchinis Adana Style Stuffed Eggplants and Zucchinis (Adana Usulü Patlıcan ve Kabak Dolması) they usually use sundried eggplants and zucchinis Adana Style Stuffed Eggplants and Zucchinis (Adana Usulü Patlıcan ve Kabak Dolması)

-Cover and cook on low to medium heat (boiling vigorously would crack the dolmas) for 40 -45 minutes
-In a skillet heat the oil and stir in garlic. After a a couple of minutes add the paste and mint flakes. Stir for another 1-2 minutes. Pour in lemon juice, stir, and turn offthe heat
-Pour the sauce on dolmas with a spoon at the end of 45-minute cooking and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

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