This is my husband’s favorite dish. He calls it the Umami bomb. Kafta patties, fried in ghee, topped up with slices of fried potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and onions, covered in tomato sauce, then left to simmer in the oven for a couple of hours.
“The fat of the patties, lifted by the acidity of the tomatoes, and grounded by the starchiness of the thick potato slices. A beautiful Lebanese symphony of a dish. .”
Kafta w batata is best paired with a cabbage salad or cold radishes. If you want to eat it like a true Lebanese cut all the ingredients into bite size portions, then use pita bread to scoop them up from your plate, dripping in some of that rich tomato sauce.
Kafta w Batata
- 1 kg of Kafta (a mix of meat, onions, parsley, salt, and spices)
- 4 or 5 Potatoes
- 4 or 5 Tomatoes
- 1 Medium sized Eggplant
- 1 Onion
- 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
- Salt & Pepper
- Frying oil
- Make the Kafta into patties (slightly bigger than the diameter of your potatoes), then fry in Ghee. Don’t discard the fat. You will use it later for the tomatoes.
- Place the patties in an aluminum oven dish.
- Slice the potatoes in 2 cm thick slices, salt them, and fry them in sunflower oil. Dry on a paper towel, then layer on top of the Kafta patties.
- Slice the tomatoes in 2 cm thick slices and fry them in the same pan you used for the Kafta. Layer them on top of the potato slices.
- Slice eggplants and onions into 1 cm thick slices, toss them with olive oil and salt, then layer on top of the tomatoes.
- Melt the tomato paste into a cup of boiling water and add some salt and white pepper. Pour it into the tray. Add water so that half of the Kafta is covered.
- Cook in the oven at 200 degrees for about 1.5 hours, or until the sauce has thickened.
Tips: If the eggplants are starting to charr just cover the dish with aluminum foil, but without sealing it.