This dish is very popular within Middle Eastern as well as the Mediterranean culture. The first time I tried this flavour packed dish was many years ago cooked 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 table; the vibrant colours make it just that bit more special. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I used the Ninja Kitchen to air fry the aubergine – they came out nice and crispy!
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
Place the sliced aubergine on the tray inside the cooker. Coat the aubergine slices in a thin layer of olive oil, and cook on each side 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.