Tepsi Baytinijan by Intlak Alsaiegh from the Hubb Community Kitchen

October 20, 2018
6 Ratings
Photo by Jenny Zarins
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 350 grams ground beef (3/4 pound)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 eggplants, about 700 grams/1 1/2 pounds, cut into 1 1/2-centimeter/1/2-inch slices
  • 120 milliliters olive oil (1/2 cup)
  • 2 large potatoes, about 500 grams/1 pound, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-centimeter/1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1-centimeter/1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large green pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
  • 350 milliliters water (1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, about 280 grams/10 ounces, cut into 1-centimeter/1/2-inch slices
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Finally, cook the meatballs over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until well browned but not cooked through.
  7. In a measuring cup, mix the water with the tomato paste, tamarind paste, and sugar until well blended.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dariusz
  • rob
  • NXL
  • tripletree

4 Reviews

Dariusz March 2, 2024
Tasty. The vegetables were very soft and very tasty. It all tasted a bit like barbecue. We enjoyed the dish.
rob September 6, 2021
Quite nice. I didn't use quite as much tamerind as the recipe suggested but it still had that underlying tartness.
NXL January 19, 2020
The vegetables in this dish are delicious, but I found the meatballs very bland.
tripletree October 25, 2018
This is the most delicious thing I have eaten in months! I won't go into my minor changes, based on what I had on hand -- this was savory, a little tart (from the tamarind), unexpected, and completely plate licking good!