These savory stuffed eggplants are filled to perfection with a hearty and meat-free combination of aromatic Mahatma® Basmati Rice, fresh herbs, spices and rich tomato sauce.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise.
Using a spoon, scoop out center of each eggplant half, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges; reserve pulp. Sprinkle eggplant shells with salt. Transfer to baking tray, cut side down. Finely chop reserved eggplant pulp. Set aside.
In an ovenproof high-sided skillet set over medium heat, cook 1 tbsp oil and tomato paste, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in puréed tomatoes and broth; bring to boil. Transfer 3 cups tomato sauce to separate bowl; set aside. Add rice to remaining tomato sauce in skillet; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
In a separate large skillet set over medium heat, heat 1/4 cup oil; add eggplant pulp, onion and garlic. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in paprika, cumin, coriander, allspice and cinnamon. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined and fragrant. Season with pepper. Let cool slightly.
In a small bowl, stir together cilantro, mint and parsley. Reserve 2 tbsp; set aside. Stir remaining herbs and lemon juice into eggplant mixture.
Spoon reserved tomato sauce into the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan. Arrange eggplants, cut side up, on tomato sauce (sauce should come about halfway up sides of eggplants; add a splash of water if needed).
Drizzle with remaining olive oil; cover with foil and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until eggplant has softened.
Mix together cooked rice with cooked eggplant mixture; spoon into eggplant shells. Bake uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
Serve tomato sauce onto serving plates; arrange stuffed eggplants on top. Sprinkle with reserved cilantro mixture.
Serve with a garlicky tahini sauce to drizzle over top.
To make this dish completely vegan, instead of using chicken broth, use vegetable broth as you would if making vegan paella.
While stuffed vegetables, like stuffed peppers, are a wonderful way to get more nutrient-dense ingredients into your weekly meals, the filling is what really makes or breaks the dish. Our version of stuffed eggplants includes a hearty yet flavorful filling.
Ensure you start with great ingredients by simmering the aromatic basmati rice in a blend of pureed tomatoes and broth. Combine that with sautéed eggplant pulp, onion and garlic that has been seasoned with fragrant spices. Then, add the finishing touch of a final zesty herb combination of cilantro, mint and parsley with lemon juice.
Jasmine Rice can also be used as an alternative to Basmati in this recipe, however, if you’re wondering, what is the difference between Basmati Rice vs Jasmine Rice? Learn everything you need to know in our cooking section! Also, find more delicious filling recipe inspiration like an authentic Mexican rice recipe or cilantro and lime rice.
If you haven’t made many recipes with eggplant, we’ll give you a few pointers to select the very best for this recipe.