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Batinjan Makdous- Preserved Stuffed Aubergines

28 September 2009

Batinjan Makdous- Preserved Stuffed Aubergines

Stuffed Eggplant

These baby aubergines are part of the Lebanese mouneh or preserving and pickling process for the winter months. They are vegetarian, gluten-free and so moreish. I’ve heard it’s a good idea to eat them straight from the jar, oil dripping all over your chin and your once-worn silk ruffle shirt, not even giving it a moments notice- till the jar is empty.

Then you’re screwed. No, I’m not speaking from experience.

But, you can also try serving them as part of a tapas or alongside  pasta or rice. They are also good with labneh cheese. You can also use the stuffing with cabbage leaves.

Batinjan Makdous- Preserved Stuffed Aubergines
  • 2kg baby aubergines- preferably white.
  • 4  heads of garlic- pounded
  • 120g  walnuts or pecans
  • 15g coriander, finely chopped
  • ½ pomegranate-seeds
  • 540ml olive oil
  • 1 hot pepper, if desired
  • 3 canning jars-700g weight
  • About 1 tablespoon rock salt

  1. Look at the color of these beautiful babies! Look for eggplants with a shiny outer skin and ditch any with wrinkles or blemishes in the skin.  Ask how long it has been off the vine so you can judge how old it is. Be sure it is firm to the touch.
  2. Start by peeling off the green stems. Leave the bottom root as it is.
  3. Place the aubergines in water and bring to a boil. Cook for a maximum of 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the aubergines, let cool for 30 minutes. It’s important to drain the aubergines from all the water they’ve soaked up, otherwise they will turn out sour.
  5. Create a small vertical opening in the middle of the aubergine by slicing it with a pairing knife.
  6. Now, cover with a plate or a tray and push down on the aubergines to help release any excess juice/water. Let them sit on the counter overnight. You can put a few plates to apply additional pressure.
  7. The following morning begin pounding the pecans or walnuts, into small chunks
  8. Add the pounded garlic, salt and the finely chopped coriander.
  9. Mix and then add the pomegranate seeds
  10. Add about 40ml olive oil and mix well.
  11. Take the well drained aubergines and gently widen the small openings you created earlier.
  12. Stuff with about 1 teaspoon of the filling.
  13. If you’d like to add hot pepper, then slice them thinly.
  14. Layer the stuffed aubergines into a 700g jar or the likes, adding 2-3 hot pepper slices in between each layer.
  15. Invert the jars at an angle (lean them onto a small ramekin in the center of the plate) onto a plate to remove more of the juices/water. Leave them for a few hours, till more juice is released.
  16. Now flip the jars back upright and pour over the olive oil.
  17. Use a spoon to gently wiggle the aubergines, allowing the oil to evenly spread. Add more olive oil till they are all covered.
  18. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp cloth. Tightly twist the lid on and keep in a dry cool place for 5 days before consumption.
  19. They will keep for up to 1 year. Serve at room temperature. They do not need to be kept in the fridge once opened. Whatever you do don’t even try to send me your dry cleaning bill!


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18 thoughts on “Batinjan Makdous- Preserved Stuffed Aubergines

  1. Do you just make everything look so easy!!??!! This is a def recipe I am going to try – I am still amazed how simple this looks to do… Thanks DKS

  2. Fabulous, I love the directions with pictures. I made this twice and the only addition I’d make is salt – a little bit of salt with the stuffing tastes great, and a little on the inside of the eggplants before you stuff them is great too – it helps more liquid drain.

      1. Yes mam! it’s heavy on the garlic but feel free to modify to taste. You’re still gonna need way more than 4 garlic cloves though.

      2. yes madam it depends on the quantity you do make..for each baby brengel(aubergine ) i glove is enough…if you can find white aubergine buy some..before getting black..they are white….iam a professional i know what iam talking about…if ever you do not find white babies…..boil..the auvergine 15 minutes ..for the skin to be more tender..altough it will get some tenderness in oil….its a long process..rather choose a trple size glass container…so they willlast longer…..this with arabic bread can easily take place of a meal…..from Roland the lebanese cook…..( Please choose a very good olive oil).and the pommegrenate must be red not sweet pink…as shown in picture….if ever you do want an advice on Lebanese and French cooking …message me ill be glad to advise you iam half lebanese Half french from my father….tool 3 years lessons in french cooking….madame…….

  3. oooooh lawdy, I’m doing them this weekend and needed a stuffing with a little “zing”–so I’m adding the hot peppers for sure! Lovely presentation!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Bethany, I was so happy to find your recipe. My Lebanese-Jamaican aunt used to make these and they were one of the most delicious things I ever ate. I’ve been craving them for years and
    now I only have to wait 5 days to taste them again. I hope I did them justice.

    1. Hello 🙂 I followed your recipe (except adding pomegranate seeds) and now after 7 days I just opened my big jar. I never tried aubergine like this before, so I just want to make sure that I prepared it with the right way 😉 They have a smell like my prefered Polish pickled cucumbers and about the taste – they are a little bit sour. It should be like that? (don’t laugh at me please ;)….) Thank you!
      PS Apart from that they are very soft and tasty, just next time (for sure it will be next time) I will add more salt.

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