Kenyan Baked Eggplant and Tomatoes

Eggplants and tomatoes are widely used in Kenya and are actually a good combination as you will find in this hearty dinner perfect for a lazy afternoon. Traditionally one would use goat's cheese instead of the Gouda or Mozzarella, however I have never, ever, ever been able to eat anything made from goat's milk. I find that the taste is similar to nail polish remover (I know...I'm crazy) but if you like goat's cheese use that instead, it is actually supposed to be very good for you. As with all African meals you should allow yourself sufficient time for preparing and cooking...or "Pole Pole" as they say in Swahili (slowly, slowly).

You will need a food processor or a blender to make the bread crumbs. You will also need a large oven proof baking dish.


A very healthy dish, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, protein and calcium

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Nut free

This recipe is easy to make:

  • Gluten free

Kenyan Baked Eggplant and Tomatoes

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants, sliced fairly thickly
  • 2 onions, sliced fairly thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 kilogramme (35 oz) tomatoes (fresh or tinned), chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Pinch of salt (Himalaya or sea salt) and pepper

For the cheese topping

  • 500 millilitres (17 fluid oz) yoghurt
  • 100 grams (3½ oz) low fat cheese (mozzarella or Gouda), grated
  • 25 grams (¾ oz) fresh parmesan, grated
  • 25 grams (¾ oz) cottage cheese (or goat cheese)
  • 25 grams (¾ oz) spelt bread crumbs (or gluten free bread crumbs if you are gluten intolerant)

Preparation

  1. Slice the 2 eggplants fairly thickly
  2. Peel the onions and slice fairly thinly.
  3. Peel the 2 garlic cloves and chop finely or crush with a garlic press.
  4. Chop the 1 kilogramme tomatoes. You can also used tinned tomatoes.
  5. Grate the 25 grams parmesan and 100 grams low fat cheese.
  6. Place the 25 grams spelt bread in a food processor and blend for 5 seconds.
  7. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a large saucepan.
  8. Place sliced eggplant in the saucepan and heat for 7 minutes (3 minutes on each side). Add a couple of tablespoons water to the saucepan if needed. Set eggplant slices aside.
  9. Add 1 teaspoon coconut oil to the saucepan. Heat the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until fairly soft.
  10. Add chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon tomato puree, 1 tablespoon agave nectar and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  11. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. The mixture should be fairly thick. If it is not, cook for a while longer.
  12. In a medium bowl, combine 500 millilitres yoghurt, 50 grams low fat cheese (mozzarella or Gouda), 25 grams fresh parmesan, 25 grams cottage cheese (or goat cheese) and 25 grams spelt bread crumbs.
  13. Divide the eggplant slices into three batches.
  14. Place one batch in the bottom of a large oven proof baking dish.
  15. Pour one third of the tomato mixture on top of the egg plant slices.
  16. Add one third of the cheese mixture.
  17. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and finish off with the cheese mixture.
  18. Add the remaining 50 grams grated cheese and some extra parmesan if you like.
  19. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius/350 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 4, for 15-20 minutes.
  20. Once finished allow to sit on the table for at least 15 minutes since the tomatoes will be extremely hot. Please be careful.
  21. Serve with chapati bread, a salad and perhaps some brown rice.

Tips

  • Note that the tomatoes will excrete some liquid during baking. This is perfectly normal.
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes. 
  • You can use gluten free bread crumbs instead of the spelt bread crumbs if you are gluten intolerant.