Turkish Eggplant Dish (Karniyarik)

Karniyarik literally means “split belly” in Turkish. This Turkish eggplant dish is one of the classic cuisines in Turkey. The combination of the spicy ground beef and creamy eggplant is very addicting. Its one of my favorite dishes growing up. I remember my mom making this dish throughout the year. I can still smell the roasting of the eggplant and spices coming from her kitchen. It makes me a bit nostalgic just thinking of it.

I did not attempt to make this dish for years, thinking it was an impossible feat. I mean, who can beat mom’s cooking, right? After being on my own for so long, I was really craving this dish. One day, I decided to take it on. Although it was time consuming, it was well worth it!

If you are looking for an exotic eggplant recipe, this is the one to try!

Turkish Eggplant Dish (Karniyarik)



  • 5-6 Small-Medium Eggplants
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 2 T. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Small Onion, Diced
  • 1 T. Cooking Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper




  • 1 Tomato, Sliced
  • 5-6 Hot Green Chilli Peppers




  • Crusty Bread




  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Peel the eggplants in strips (photo available on my website)
  • Salt the eggplants on both sides and set aside for about 30 minutes (This will help soak up extra moisture)
  • Run under cool water to wash off the excess salt. Squeeze out the remaining moisture, then pat dry with a paper towel
  • Add cooking oil to the pan and brown the eggplants on both sides until soft
  • Place the eggplants in a casserole dish and split the center with a knife. Set aside
  • Add cooking oil to a pan. Add the diced onions. Cook until translucent, then add the ground beef. Cook until the ground beef is cooked through, then add the remaining ingredients
  • Place the ground beef mixture in the eggplants
  • Top it off with the tomato and green chilli peppers
  • Place in the oven, uncovered
  • Bake about 25-30 minutes, or until done


To Serve:

This Turkish eggplant dish (Karniyarik) is so creamy, you don’t even need a knife! All you need is a fork and some crusty bread for dipping. The eggplant seems to just melt in your mouth and the spices give it just the right amount of kick. I get hungry just thinking about it! It’s traditionally served hot as-is or its paired with rice or a healthy side salad.

I usually serve this dish with Turkish rice. I have a great recipe on my website of how to make Turkish rice with toasted fideos. It goes great with this recipe!






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