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Sunday Brunch: Eggplant Kuku

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You can add almost any type of fresh herb to this casserole, I used dill in this particular kuku but I've also made it with fresh parsley. What makes this delicious kuku different from other stuffed egg casserole dishes, is that it uses a little lime juice, flour, and baking soda. I liked the meaty texture of the eggplant with the eggs, they both somehow come together and melt when you take a bite. This is definitely one of my new top additions to my weekend brunch menu and I think you might want to add it to yours! I adapted this recipe from "Food of Life" by cook and author Najmeih Batmaglij.

This recipe first appeared on A Brown Table on August 19, 2012.

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Eggplant kuku

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

8 large eggs
1 large eggplant (approximately 2 cups of peeled and diced eggplant)
1 large white onion (approximately 1 cup of diced onion)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 chopped fresh dill/parsley/cilantro
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
extra salt to wash the eggplant

Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat a 10 inch diameter cast iron skillet on a medium flame and add the olive oil. Peel the eggplant and cut out four thin slices (about 2mm thick), you will use these to garnish the kuku. Keep the eggplant slices aside. Dice the rest of the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes and let them sit in a cold water and a little salt for 20 minutes. This helps to remove the bitterness of the eggplant. Discard the liquid (it will appear brown), rinse the chopped eggplant under running tap water. Pat them dry with a clean towel.Peel and dice the onion and add it to the hot oil. Cook the onion till it gets golden brown, this should take about. Smash the garlic and peel the skin off, then finely chop the garlic and add it to the onions in the skillet and stir for 2 minutes. Add the chopped and washed eggplant to the onion and garlic mixture. Cook for another 15 minutes until the eggplant is translucent. Transfer the eggplant mix from the skillet into a bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Chop the dill/parsley/cilantro, the flour, baking powder, turmeric, bread crumbs, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk for about a minute to mix all the ingredients. Make sure that there are no flour clumps in the mixture. Fold the cooled eggplant mix into the whisked egg batter. Melt the butter in the same iron skillet on a medium flame. Remove the skillet from the gas. Make sure that the melted butter coats the surface of the pan completely. Pour the egg batter into the center of the skillet and place the four eggplant slices (that you cut and kept aside earlier) on the surface of the batter, and transfer the skillet to the heated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the surface is golden brown and the center is cooked (test the center of the eggs with a skewer, if it comes out clean then the eggs are cooked). Remove the kuku from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. It will also be easier to remove the kuku from the bottom of the skillet. Serve warm by itself or with plain rice and yogurt.