Eggplant and Lamb in Tomato Sauce (Yakhnet Batinjen)

  • Servings: 2 or 3

Aubergine or eggplant is a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. It is a versatile vegetable which can be fried, grilled or pickled.

This recipe is Lebanese! It is really tasty. It’s one of my husband favourite dishes! It looks like a stew but the two main ingredients are cooked separately. They are mixed together towards the end of the cooking.

If you don’t like lamb, use beef meat instead!

Serve this dish with rice and vermicelli.


  • 2 medium size aubergines, washed, peeled zebra-style then cut into cubes
  • 500g of lamb leg or shoulder, chopped into chunks; plus 1 or 2 bones (optional)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 fresh tomatoes + 1 large tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of each of these spices: allspice, cinnamon, black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric (healthy supplement)
  • Enough of olive oil to air-fry or shallow-fry the aubergine pieces
  • Enough of water to slow cook the meat & bones
  • Salt, to taste


Step 1

Start by cooking the lamb which may take up to 2 hours to be really tender. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium high heat and brown the meat. After 3 or 4 minutes stir in onion, garlic and green pepper. Stir fry for another 3 or 4 minutes then add the tomato paste followed by fresh tomatoes, spices and salt. Add water up to the level of the meat and let it boil. Once it has boiled, lower the heat to let the ragout simmer until the meat is tender and a nice sauce has been formed.

Step 2

In the meantime, after washing and peeling the eggplants zebra-style, cut them into cubes then put them in a sieve placed on a bowl and sprinkle them with salt. This will allow the eggplants to shed their water, and bitterness if any; salting also helps to reduce the soaking up of oil when fried.

Step 3

Rinse the salt, drain then pat dry the eggplant cubes before frying. If you are frying in an air-fryer, you only need to cover the cubes with 1 large tbsp of olive oil. A bit more of oil if you shallow-fry (you really don’t need to deep-fry).

Step 4

When the ragout is ready, stir in the fried eggplant and cook everything together for approximately 5 or 7 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Serve with rice and a side dish of greens.

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