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A sumptuous, plant-based stuffed eggplant with bulgur, currants, and pine nuts
5 from 1 vote

Bulgur Stuffed Eggplants with Tamarind, Currants & Pine Nuts

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat (substitute millet or quinoa)
  • 3 small eggplants (about 8-9 inches each)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 batch tahini dressing, such as my tahini drizzle, tahini green goddess dressing, or tahini mint dressing

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Halve lengthwise, then lightly score your eggplants. Sprinkle them with plenty of coarse salt and allow them to sit for about 10 minutes. Pat them off, then transfer them to the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until they're tender all the way through and the skin is just starting to wrinkle. Remove them from the oven and increase oven heat to 375F.
  • While the eggplants bake, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then stir in the bulgur. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the bulgur is tender. Drain off any excess water, then fluff the bulgur with a fork. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes before using.
  • Very gently scoop the eggplant flesh from the eggplants, being sure to leave about 1/4-inch of flesh in the skins (you can use a spoon to do this and use a paring knife if you need a little backup). Roughly chop the eggplant flesh.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is clear and soft. Add the tomato and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes. Add the tamarind paste, cumin, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then fold in the bulgur, currants, and pine nuts. Add a splash of the red wine vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes to taste, then taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed.
  • Stuff the eggplants with the bulgur mixture (about a heaping 1/2 cup per eggplant half). Return the eggplants to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are just getting dry and the skins are completely soft. Transfer the eggplants to a serving platter and top with the parsley and lots of tahini dressing. Serve, with any leftover stuffing alongside.

Notes

If you don't have tamarind paste, pomegranate molasses is a good substitute. You can also use extra vinegar and a touch of liquid sweetener, like maple syrup, to help replace the sweet/tart flavor of the paste.