Eggplant Maghmour with Filo

Eggplant Maghmour with Filo

A twist of the original Lebanese dish: Eggplant and chick peas in tomato sauce, Greek style, topped with Filo.

Maghmour is a traditional Lebanese stew made from eggplant, chick peas and tomatoes. It is often served cold, but you can enjoy it warm too. As Mezze (Lebanese appetizers) or as main. In this recipe we will explore a Greek influenced twist, mainly stimulated by the cinnamon. The stew will be stuffed into an eggplant and draped in Filo, the very thin Greek version of puff pastry used for Baklava. The oven baked crust gives it an extra crunch.

Baked, Bread, Cilantro, Crust, Eggplant, Filo Dough, Food, Greens, Herbs, Lebanese, Loaf of Bread, Maghmour, Vegetable, Vegetables, Yufka, legume
Baked eggplant stuffed with Maghmour and topped with a Filo crust

Ingredients

  • 8  15cmx15cm sheets of Filo (or equivalent amount of larger ones)
  • 4 eggplants
  • 250g canned chick peas
  • 400g canned tomatoes
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 250 ml olive oil
  • 4 small onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • pita bread or baguette
Cilantro, Cinnamon stick, Eggplant, Lemon, Tomatoes
Maghmour with Filo

Preparation

Carved eggplant halves

Start by preparing the eggplant: Cut the eggplant roughly in half and carve out most of the flesh, leave only half a centimeter from the skin. Incise the remaining flesh, be sure not to pierce the skin of the eggplant. This is one of the few moments in life when a dull knife comes in handy. Next baste the eggplant halves from the inside with 200ml of the olive oil. They can take up a lot of it, and you can use more if you like. Once the olive oil is absorbed, rub on some salt. Place the eggplant halves upright on an oven tray and bake for 45 minutes at 180°C. If you want, you can do the same with the lower halves to get some decorative serving bowls, like I did here.

Carved out Eggplant
Maghmour with Filo
Greek style Maghmour

In the mean time prepare the filling. Rinse and drain the chick peas. Dice what is left of the eggplants. Cut the onions in rings, the garlic in slices. Cut the tomatoes in quarters or eights, depending on size. Zest the lemon and squeeze it.

Heat a large frying on high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and the cinnamon sticks. Optionally, add also a teaspoon of cumin seeds. Fry for a few minutes, lower heat to medium and add the onion rings. Fry until golden brown, then add the diced eggplant. Stir regularly and add salt and pepper. When the eggplant is done, add the garlic slices, the lemon zest and thyme. Give it a few minutes while stirring regularly. Before the garlic turns too brown, add the canned tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, ground cinnamon and lemon juice. Some people would protest, but I think canned tomatoes have way more flavor than fresh tomatoes in Germany. The fresh ones are only for texture. Let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add more salt and cinnamon to taste. Remove from heat. Chop and add the cilantro.

Chickpeas, Cinnamon eggplant, Filo Lebanese, cilantro, Maghmour
Maghmour with Filo
Adding the Filo to the picture

Fill the eggplant halves with the sugo and place them upright in small oven-proof serving dishes. Add more filling evenly around the eggplants in all dishes, but don’t overfill them. Get the Filo from the fridge, and use two sheets per dish. Cut a small hole in the middle for the top of the eggplant to stick out. Loosely place it on top of the oven-proof dish. Repeat for the others. As for the cinnamon sticks: You can either hide them inside the dish or show them off by letting them pierce through the Filo. Bake the dishes until the dough turned golden brown (roughly 20-30 min). This variant is best served warm, before the crust looses its crunch.

Cinnamon eggplant, Filo Lebanese, Lemon, Maghmour
Maghmour with Filo
Cilantro, Crust, Eggplant, Filo Bread, Yufka
Maghmour with Filo


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