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Ingriyi (sweet and sour meat and eggplant)

Ingriyi (sweet and sour meat and eggplant)
Wally Skalij /

Walk into almost any taqueria and you can get agua de tamarindo, a refreshingly tangy Mexican drink made from tamarind fruit. But tamarind is not just Mexican, and tamarindo is not just a drink. Wonderfully zingy, tart and piquant, with ... Read more

Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes | Serves 8 or more
  • 2 1/2 pounds lamb or beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 2 large eggplants, about 2 pounds each, cut into 1/2 -inch slices
  • 2 pounds onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds large tomatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/2 -inch slices
  • 6 tablespoons tamarind liquid
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Step 1Simmer the meat in water to cover with 2 teaspoons salt for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until tender. Strain the meat, saving the meat and 1 cup of the stock separately. You may discard the rest of the stock.

Step 2While the meat is simmering, sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and set aside for 1 hour to draw out their juices. Cook the onions in a large frying pan in the oil over low heat until soft and very brown and caramelized.

Step 3Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the eggplant and dry in a tea towel. Fry the slices briefly in very hot oil, turning over once, until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Alternatively, you can brush the slices with oil and cook them under the broiler.

Step 4In a large baking dish, layer the ingredients. Begin with a layer of eggplant, and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Next, layer half of the meat and onions, seasoning with one-eighth teaspoon salt and a small pinch of pepper. Cover with a layer of half of the tomato slices, seasoning with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Repeat with a second seasoned layer each of eggplant, meat and onions, and tomatoes.

Step 5Heat 1 cup of the meat stock in a small pan and stir in the tamarind liquid and sugar. When the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is blended, pour it evenly over the layers.

Step 6Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot. Serve with rice.

Note: Adapted from "The Book of Jewish Food" by Claudia Roden. See the accompanying recipe for tamarind liquid. Or you can use canned "fresh tamarind concentrate" (use the same amount as of tamarind liquid).


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