From Together: Our Community Cookbook: "Tepsi translates as 'casserole' and this is a traditional Persian dish of meatballs in tomato sauce with eggplant. It’s quite rich. You could make it with less oil, I suppose, but then it
wouldn’t be so traditional—or taste so good." -Intlak Alsaiegh
Reprinted with permission from Together: Our Community Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $16.99 U.S/$22.99 Can). Photography by Jenny Zarins. —Food52
1 hour 15 minutes
4 to 6
ground beef (3/4 pound)
large garlic cloves, minced
eggplants, about 700 grams/1 1/2 pounds, cut into 1 1/2-centimeter/1/2-inch slices
olive oil (1/2 cup)
large potatoes, about 500 grams/1 pound, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-centimeter/1/2-inch slices
large onion, peeled and cut into 1-centimeter/1/2-inch slices
large green pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
water (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons
1 1/2 tablespoons
ripe tomatoes, about 280 grams/10 ounces, cut into 1-centimeter/1/2-inch slices
Place the beef and half of the crushed garlic in a bowl. Add the curry powder and mix by hand until well combined. Divide the mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Set aside.
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium–high heat. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and cook in batches for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden. Set aside.
Brush the potato slices with oil and cook in the same pan for about 6 minutes on each side until golden but not completely cooked through. Set aside.
In the same pan, cook the onion slices and green pepper in about 2 tablespoons of the oil for about 5 minutes, until just golden. Add the remaining garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Set aside.
Finally, cook the meatballs over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until well browned but not cooked through.
In a measuring cup, mix the water with the tomato paste, tamarind paste, and sugar until well blended.
Arrange half of the eggplant, potato, onion, pepper, tomatoes and meatballs in a 30-centimeter/12-inch round baking dish, overlapping them. Season well with salt and pepper, then pour half of the tomato sauce over the top. Repeat with the rest of the vegetables and meatballs. Season well again and pour the remaining sauce on top.
Cover with foil and lid and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve with basmati rice or bread to mop up the sauce.