With summer and BBQ season approaching (in some countries more than others) it’s about time to dig into those savoury grill dishes and offer you guys an awesome plant-based alternative to regular meat and the broad range of substitutes! 🙂 To be honest, my favourite substitutes for meat dishes are still vegetables. I’m just not a huge fan of processed food (including plant-based) and always prefer fresh veggies over tofu sausages and seitan schnitzel. Luckily, eggplant is an amazing healthy alternative with just the right texture to imitate everything meaty, which makes this eggplant kebab is just perfect! 🙂
I’ve become a huge fan of eggplant ever since my first try with burgers. If you don’t know them yet, make sure to also check out my Messy Eggplant Burgers – they’re divine!
This time, however, I’ve been trying something completely different that has been on my mind for a while now. Living in the Middle East, there’s two essentials that you will encounter on every corner: za’atar and kebab. Now za’atar is just an amazing spice and can be found in tons of Arabic dishes. I just love the taste, smell and colour of it! It has become one of my favourite spices and can can be found everywhere around here (best thing is to stroll over the endless spice markets and indulge in all the different tastes and smells). Kebab, is the most common street food and be found literally everywhere. You can choose to eat it in a smaller pita, filled with fresh salad, hummus and tahini or in a bigger ‘laffa’ (Lebanese flatbread). You can bake the eggplant in the oven, or put it on the grill – just until its mushy inside and crispy on the outside!
So, I thought that it was about time that I’d make a plant-based version out of the most common dish around here. What’s great about this recipe is that it’s completely oil-free, without salt and plant-based.It’s filled with great spices, crunchy salad, creamy hummus and, of course, tahini drizzled on top (what would life be without tahini?). If you don’t have a good hummus on hand, you can always make your own by following my hummus recipe!
I’m gonna spoil you with more traditional recipes from the Middle East from now on, as it would be a waste not share at least some parts of the food culture. What’s great about the Middle Eastern cuisine is that anyways most of the basic ingredients and dishes are plant-based, and the ones that aren’t are pretty easy to “plantify”! 😉
I’ve got some great ideas coming up, including shakshuka, falafel, sabich (google for further infos) – so stay tuned! 🙂
- 2 laffa (taboon) flatbread
- Fresh parsley
- 1 big eggplant, cut into cubes
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 tomato, sliced
- green onions, sliced
- 1 small cucumber, sliced
- 1-2 sour pickles, sliced
- 1-2 tsp za’atar
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp rice flour
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ⅛ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- dash of black pepper
- Pre heat your oven to 200°C. Alternatively prepare your grill (you'll need a grill pan to roast the eggplant on).
- Wash your eggplant and cut it into cubes. Place in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Place all the spices, flour and water in a bowl and mix together with a spoon (alternatively place everything in your blender and mix for 5 seconds).
- Pour the mixture over the eggplant cubes and combine with your hands until all cubes are covered.
- Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper and place the eggplant on it. Make sure to spread the cubes across the whole sheet.
- Bake at 200°C for 40-45 minutes (should be dark brown - crispy on the outside and soft on the inside).
- In the meantime cut all the veggies for the filling.
- Prepare the tahini by pouring all ingredients into a small bowl and whisking together. If you want it to be more/less liquid (increase/ reduce the amount of water).
- Heat up the flatbread in a pan (both sides) and spread the hummus inside. Assemble all the veggies, eggplant and herbs inside and sprinkle with the tahini dressing.
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