Royal Kebabs from Jordan
 
 
Perfectly seasoned beef, rolled in roasted eggplant, drizzled with a savory and spicy tomato sauce, and topped with crunchy pine nuts and aromatic mint leaves, make this Jordanian recipe for Royal Kebabs a true crowd pleaser!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Jordan
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
Kebabs
  • 3 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise in ¼ inch thick slices
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • ⅛ of a green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef
Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 green hot chilies (such as jalapeño or serrano, optional), 1½ finely diced for the sauce, the remaining ½ thinly sliced for sprinkling on top
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 7 medium tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Garnish
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Fresh mint leaves
Instructions
Kebabs
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides, then lay them in a single layer on one or two parchment paper lined baking trays. Bake, flipping once during cooking, until they are golden, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool to the touch.
  3. Reduce the oven to 350°F.
  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the onion with the bell pepper until smooth. Add the bread crumbs, ¾ teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper, and pulse briefly to combine. Transfer to a large bowl, and combine with the ground beef, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Mix well.
  5. Shape the beef mixture into logs (these are kebabs) about 4 inches long, and 1 inch thick. Try to end up with the same amount of kebabs, as baked eggplant slices.
Sauce
  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, and cook until the soft and translucent. Stir in the green bell pepper, the diced chilies, and tomato paste. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes to bring out the flavors.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, and remove from the heat.
Putting it together - this is the fun part, and great for kids!
  1. Pour half the sauce in the bottom of an 8x8, or similarly sized, baking dish.
  2. Lay an eggplant slice out on a work surface, place a kebab at one end, and roll. Repeat with all the eggplant slices.
  3. Arrange the rolled up kebabs in a single layer in the prepared dish, and pour the other half of the sauce over top. Sprinkle the sliced chilies on top, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 155°F.
  4. Sprinkle some pine nuts and mint leaves on top for garnish.
  5. You can enjoy this royal dish with white basmati rice, or use your hand (contrary to royal etiquette!), and pick it up with folded pieces of pita bread, like my father prefers.
Recipe by Taste Of The Place at https://www.tasteoftheplace.com/royalkebabs/