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Karniyarik - From the Book Anatolia

The Turkish kitchen loaded with flavors and punched with a touch of smoke! Make this Karniyarik and you will start to enjoy before your first bite! The delicious smell coming from your BBQ mixed with the smoky fragrants will blow your mind away! Enjoy this summer meal!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Turkish
Keyword anatolia, baked, Beef, eggplant, Karniyarik, Mediterranean, minced meat, sidedish, summer, turkish, Turkish food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Bell Pepper Puree 1 hour
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 4 Eggplants
  • 135 ml. Sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 Red onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 400 gr. beef mince
  • 1 handful Fresh mint chopped
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 4 chili peppers
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp Bell pepper Puree see below to make it
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Bell pepper Puree

  • 4 red sweet bell peppers
  • water
  • salt at taste
  • Voor de rijst

For the rice

  • 250 gr rice
  • Chicken broth
  • 1 handful of thyme and mint
  • salt at taste
  • 2 Tomatoes

For the Yoghurt

  • 150 gr yoghurt
  • 1 handful mint thinly chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


Sweet Bell Pepper Puree

  1. Put a cast iron tray on the BBQ and add the slices of sweet bell pepper (without stem and seeds). Add some water until the bell peppers are covered.

  2. Cook the bell peppers on a 180°C fire until the bell peppers are done and the water has evaporated. Add a wood chunk to the coals for extra smoky flavor. When using a pellet smoker like I did lower your temperature afterwards to 75°C to add an extra layer of smoke.

  3. When done add the bell peppers to a blender and mix thoroughly until you get a puree. Tast and add salt and pepper at your preference.


  1. Prepare your BBQ for a session at 180°C. I've used the Traeger Ironwood (pelletsmoker) thus working on indirect heat. Add the cast iron tray and preheat together with the BBQ. Add the oil and wait until it's hot enough to fry.

  2. Meanwhile cut 3 strips from the peal starting about 2cm from the stem to 2cm from the bottom.

  3. Place the eggplant carefully in the hot oil and bake them about 2 min each side until you get a nice golden brown tint. Let the eggplants cool down on a kitchen towel to remove the excess of fat.

  4. Chop the onion and bake it with the crushed garlic in the cast iron tray. If needed remove some of the oil. Let simmer for about 7 minutes and add the beef mince. Bake the mince with a handful of mint until you got a nice color.

  5. Dice the tomato and chop the mint before you add both to the mince.

  6. Dilute 1 Tbsp of the tomato puree with 1 tbsp. broth (or cooking liquid from the bell pepper) and mix under the minced beef. Cook for another 3 minutes while stirring.

  7. Split the eggplant by making an incision in it starting 2cm from the stem and ending 2cm from the bottom. Open up the eggplant by gently pushing on this incision with the bold side of a spoon. When done right you should get a canoe. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar inside the eggplant before you add the minced beef mixture. Put a hot pepper on top and a half cherry tomato on each side of the eggplant. Put them in a fire proof tray.

  8. Dilute the remaining tomato puree and homemade bell pepper puree with 250ml. of water and pour it over the eggplants to prevent them from drying out while baking. This will be your sauce in the end.

  9. Bake the Karniyarik for about 20 minutes in your BBQ using indirect heat at 180°C. until the pepper starts to get a color. Taste the sauce. If you think it can use some more of the delicious smokey taste lower the heat in your smoker to 75°C and smoke it until you get the smoke flavor you want. It should be subtle not overwhelming (here I smoked the meal for about 15 extra minutes).

Rice and yoghurt

  1. While baking the Karniyarik you can cook the rice in a broth enriched with mint and thyme following the instructions on the package.

  2. Bake the rice for a short period of time in a pan and add a thinly chopped fresh tomato. Mix through and add salt and pepper at taste.

  3. Mix all ingredients for the yoghurt and adjust at your own taste.

Serve your delicious smoky Karniyarik with the baked rice and fresh yoghurt. Have a great meal!