2 lbs ground lamb
2 medium egg plants (try to get egg plants that have a uniform shape)
2 medium onions
2 large green peppers
2 large cans of stewed tomatoes
(or cubes of homemade tomato sauce, if youâ€™re like me)
1 tspn cinnamon
Â¾ tspn allspice
Cut the egg plants into Â½ thick slices crosswise (not lengthwise), remove them from the cutting board, cover the cutting board with a layer of
paper towers, and replace the egg plant slices. Salt the top side liberally and allow to weep for approximately 10 minutes. (The purpose of salting
and allowing the egg plant to weep is to remove the bitterness.)
In the interim, mix the lamb, cinnamon, allspice, parsley, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and form into small patties. The
patties should be about 3-4 inches in diameter and about Â¼ inch thick.
Turn the egg plant slices over and salt the other side. Allow this side to weep for approximately 10 minutes.
Place the lamb patties on a broiler pan or tray and broil until browned on each side. Donâ€™t cook them too long because they will ultimately go
into the oven, but browning is essential both for flavor and removal of excess fat and water. Put aside on a plate. Donâ€™t worry if the patties
Place egg plant on a broiler pan or try, brush lightly with olive oil, and brown in the broiler, turning the egg plant, brushing the other side and
browning it, too. Keep a close eye on the egg plant because it can brown quickly.
Cut the onions and green peppers into medium slices and then cut the green pepper slices in half so they form a sort of arch.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
This is the fun partâ€”assembling all this â€œstuffâ€�.
In a 9 x 12 (or so) glass baking dish weâ€™re going to place all this â€œstuffâ€� in orderly rows, starting with a slice of egg plant (I usually cut
them in half so that they approximate the size of the lamb patties), then a lamb pattie, followed by a slice of onion and then a slice of green pepper
(which is not solid but fits after the onion almost like an arch) and continue in this manner down the row. You will do each row in this fashion,
tucking in any left over slices of anything along the edges. (I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve ever managed to end up perfectly.)
Sprinkle with oregano and a bit of garlic pepper (optional) and add the stewed tomatoes (or defrosted tomato sauce cubes) with liquid. You
might not need all the second can of stewed tomatoes, but you want plenty of liquid.
My suggestion is that before you place this in the over that you put a cookie sheet on the rack below so that if this overflows your oven wonâ
€™t be a mess.
Place on the middle rack in the oven and cook approximately 45 minutes.
While the duzmeh is bubbling away in the oven, itâ€™s time to make the pilaf! (This is really simple!)
1/3 cup orzo
4 tbspns butter
1 cup basmati rice
(or any long grain rice, but I prefer the taste and texture of basmati)
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
salt to taste
Melt the butter in a 2 quart pan, lightly brown the orzo in the butter over a medium flame. Add the rice and sautÃ© it for about 3 minutes or until
the color changes slightly and it is no longer opaque. Add chicken broth and stir. When the broth begins to bubble, turn flame to a simmer so
that the broth just keeps bubbling a little and cover tightly. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Let stand for a
couple of minutes. (If the rice is done too early, it is easy to reheat over a low flame.)
Place a mound of rice in the middle of the plate and spread it into a circle with room for the duzmeh in the middle.
ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just an asideâ€”when I prepared this dish my way for my mother, she smiled and told me I was a better cook than she.
Like political ads â€œmy mother approved this recipeâ€�.
|Hereâ€™s a recipe from my Armenian heritage. It has several names depending on who you talk toâ€”duzmeh, patlijahn--and remember, the
Armenian alphabet is entirely different that the English alphabet so spellings may vary. It is usually (at least in my universe) served with rice pilaf.
I remember watching my mother prepare this many times. Although this recipe may seem complicated and time-consuming it really isnâ€™t.
One day a few years ago I was standing at the cutting board saying to myself, â€œfrying the egg plant and the lamb patties then assembling this in
a pot and boiling it is the dumbest thing I could doâ€”why donâ€™t I grill themâ€”thatâ€™s much healthier!â€� So I started my experiment.