This dish happens to be very popular within Middle Eastern as well as the Mediterranean culture. The first time I tried this amazing and flavour packed dish was many years ago by my mother when I was more of a meat eater. This time I decided to take a more health conscious approach and have created it using wholesome plant based ingredients. Even though the meatball might not be traditional, it’s my way of making the dish more versatile yet delicious! I use my own tomato salsa for this as it just so much tastier than store bought, but of course if you don’t have any, get the best tasting plain tomato sauce.
This is an amazing staple food to have on the Ramadan table; the vibrant colours make it just that bit more special. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Pack of 8 Meatballs (vegan), I get mine from Linda McCartney
1 aubergine, thinly sliced length-wise
2 tbsp olive oil
Parsley, to garnish
4 Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 small onion, diced
Black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the sliced aubergine on a tray lined with a baking sheet. Coat the aubergine slices in a thin layer of olive oil, on each side, and then place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan fry the onion and once golden, add in the tomato paste, oregano and paprika. Add in 1/2 cup of boiling water to achieve a more curry-like consistency. Cook for 5 minutes.
Once the aubergine is golden and ready, remove from the oven. Using one strand of the aubergine placed on a plate, add one meatball and roll the aubergine to cover it. With another strand of the aubergine, wrap again in the other direction to form a cross. Secure it in place using a small wooden stick. Repeat this until all the meatballs are done. Place in a pyrex or oven safety dish and pour over the tomato salsa. Let it cook in the oven for 30 minutes and it will then be ready to serve! Pierce in cherry tomatoes into the stick for a more tastier look to the dish.