Recipe by: Sibel Cinar

Source: Sibel’s Personal Recipe

Serves: 6 – 8

Meatballs Wrapped in Eggplants

islim kebabs


  • 500g ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup English parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon


  • 6 large brinjals/eggplants (light purple)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 green peppers, sliced lengthways
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2L water

For Sauce

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups boiling hot water




  • In a large bowl, combine the grated onions, garlic and egg. Stir in the ground beef, breadcrumbs, salt, parsley, olive oil, water, ground cumin and ground cinnamon. Knead for 3 – 5 minutes with your hands until the mixture is well mixed. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 mins.


Preparing Eggplants

  • Peel the eggplants lengthways in stripes like a zebra.
  • Slice the eggplants lengthways about ½ cm thick
  • In a basin, add salt into 2L water and soak the eggplants for 15 mins. Drain and pat dry.

Preparing the Islim Kebabs

  • Heat some sunflower oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplants for 3-4 mins until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towels.
  • Shape the meatballs: Wet your hands slightly and take a walnut size of the meat mixture and roll into a ball. After frying the entire batch of eggplants, use the same frying pan to fry the meatballs for 2 – 3 mins. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 200 – 220°C.
  • On a board, place one eggplant slice horizontally and the other slice vertically (like a + shape) on top of each other and place the meatball in the middle. Fold over the slices to wrap. Lay a slice of tomato and green pepper on top and fasten the structure with a toothpick. Repeat for the rest of the eggplant slices.
  • Place the wrapped eggplants in a oven-proof dish.
  • Mix the tomato paste with boiling hot water and pour this around the eggplant packages.
  • Bake for 30 mins and serve hot.

Download PDF here: Turkish Islim Kebabs Sibel Cinar