4 medium aubergines (about 1.2kg), halved lengthways (I scored the eggplant to allow the liquids to evaporate)*
6 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 medium onions (340g in total), finely chopped
500g minced lamb
50g pine nuts
20g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp tomato purée
3 tsp superfine sugar
150 ml water
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp tamarind paste
4 cinnamon sticks
salt and black pepper
- Preheat the panggangan to 425°.
- Place the eggplant halves, skin-side down, in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate them snugly. Brush the flesh with 4 tbsp of the olive oil and season with 1 tsp salt and plenty of black pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the panggangan and allow to cool slightly.
- While the eggplants are cooking, you can start making the stuffing by heating the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Mix together cumin, paprika and ground cinnamon and add half of this spice mix to the pan, along with the onions. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, stirring often, before adding the lamb, pine nuts, parsley, tomato paste, 1 tsp of the sugar, 1 tsp salt and some black pepper. Continue to cook and stir for another 8 minutes, until the meat is cooked.
- Place the remaining spice mix in a bowl and add the water, lemon juice, tamarind, the remaining 2 tsp sugar, the cinnamon sticks, and 1/2 tsp salt; mix well.
- Reduce the panggangan temperature to 375 F. Pour the spice mix into the bottom of the eggplant roasting pan. Spoon the lamb mixture on top of each eggplant. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, return to the panggangan and roast for 1 1/2 hours, by which point the eggplants should be completely soft and the sauce thick; twice during the cooking, remove the foil and baste the eggplants with the sauce, adding some water if the sauce dries out. Serve warm, not hot, or at room temperature.