My cousin Sultan is from Antalya and loves to cook. My aunt, her mother, was a traditional and talented cook, born and raised in Antalya.  Whenever I visit Antalya, Sultan shares and delights me with the tips and tricks of Turkish cuisine. Here is one, for a very traditional eggplant dish called “Split Stomach”, (Karnıyarık) inspired by the eggplants split in the middle and filled with a delicious stuffing for its preparation.


Small eggplants (Known as Japanese or Italian, usually with less or no seeds, 6-7 pieces)

Ground Beef (1 lb/2 cups/1/2 kg)

Tomatoes (3-4 medium sized)

Onion (1 large)

Garlic (2 cloves, peeled, roughly chopped)

Tomato Paste (2 tablespoons)

Red Sweet pepper flakes, dried

Olive Oil

Sugar (2 tablespoons)

Few leaves of fresh basil or parsley for decoration