Bulgur and tomato casserole with eggplant

March 7, 2010  •  Category:

One of the most popular dishes in the near-east is  makloubet al-batenjan: It is a casserole of rice and lamb chunks encased in eggplant slices. To die for. I made a lighter dish and it is meatless. No less delicious it was gobbled up in no time. Eggplant, coarse bulgur, tomatoes, onions and chick peas.


  • 1 or 2 large eggplants
  • olive oil as needed
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • salt, pepper, dash of cinnamon, dash of allspice
  • 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 can of chick peas, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups of coarse bulgur (#4)
  • 1 cube of vegetable bouillon (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or red pepper paste (optional)


First Step:

  1. Peel the eggplant and slice; sprinkle with salt and let them sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Pat dry and fry them in hot oil till limp. Dry with paper towels and set aside till needed. Season a bit.

Second Step:


  1. Soak the bulgur in water for 30 minutes while you make the tomato sauce.
  2. Chop the onions, dice the tomatoes and heat some olive oil. Fry the onions in the oil till golden, add the tomatoes, season and cover the pan for about 30 minutes.
  3. Mash the garlic and add to the tomato sauce. Stir a bit. Add the bulgur and the chick peas, stir, add some water (about 2  to 3 cups) and the paste if using  and close the lid; bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover the pot and check seasoning and if the bulgur is all cooked. If not, cover and cook a few minutes more, adding more water if needed.

Third Step:


  1. Line a bowl with plastic wrap. Line the bowl with all the eggplant slices, overlapping them if needed.
  2. Fill the bowl with the bulgur mixture. Cover with plastic wrap. when ready to serve, you can either reheat a bit in the microwave or serve at room temperature. Yogurt would be nice with it.
  3. Flip the bowl onto a serving platter. Enjoy! Sahteyn!



29 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Arlette says:

    This looks like dinner for me..
    Never had Meatless Makloubeh .. Love all the flavours..
    and more loveeeee burghul….
    thanks for sharing

  2. Claudia says:

    Your photos are gorgeous! So enticing. I don’t know many of these dishes so am bookmarking – they look like taste sensations.

  3. KennyT says:

    I’m sure I’ll love this dish!

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    I love these vegetarian recipes! We try and eat vegetarian a few times a week and it’s great to find new, tasty recipes! 😀

  5. Louise says:

    Seriously Joumana, Can I come live with you? Every single time I visit you touch my heart with your amazing dishes. I always knew I liked middle easter food however, I actually feel like I just may be able to create a dish from one of your recipes, someday:) Thank you so much…

    I left a little gift over at my blog if you choose to accept. I know these things can be time consuming sometimes. Thanks again, another recipe, Bookmarked!!!

  6. Barbara Bakes says:

    This looks like a delicious meal! So pretty in your beautiful dish!

  7. Sushma Mallya says:

    That looks filling & so delicious….

  8. Ivy says:

    I would definitely prefer the meatless version. I have never tried this combination before but I do love all the ingredients so I must try this in the future.

  9. Priya says:

    Casserole sounds truly divine..

  10. Maninas says:

    How gorgeous. I’m making notes of your aubergine/eggplant recipes!

  11. Rachana Kothari says:

    This is such a delicious recipe:) A wholesome meal in itself!

  12. Cherine says:

    this is a delicious meal 🙂

  13. theUngourmet says:

    This looks wonderfully healthy and bursting with delicious flavors! Very nice!

  14. MaryMoh says:

    This is such a delicious-looking vegetarian dish. I try to cook vegetarian once a week for my family. My family loves it.

  15. Stevie says:

    This dish looks amazing! I love eggplant dishes and it’s super to see you making a vegetarian variation of a traditional dish. I plan on making it soon.

  16. Jamie says:

    Wow! I had to look twice to convince myself that there was no meat! I love the flavors in this casserole, love eggplant and this looks so thick, hearty and warming. What a fabulous meal!

  17. HistoryOf GreekFood says:

    Absolutely to die for both versions!!!

  18. kouky says:

    bonsoir! j’aime beaucoup cette version de la maklouba, au bourghol ça doit tout changer en terme de goût!! j’aime beaucoup tes plat du terroir que je découvre avec plaisir!
    en Algérie aussi la situation de la femme n’est pas à envier! globalement dans tout le monde arabe,mais il faut vraiment y croire et lutter pour apporter du changement, si ce n’est pas pour nous, pour nos filles et nos petites filles!! quoiqu’on peut dire que même en Occident tout n’est pas rose non plus pour la femme!!
    bonne soirée! bises! kouky

  19. shayma says:

    that is beautiful, Joumana. i love the combination of bulghur, garbanzo and aubergine. and i also like the idea of the original dish, with the lamb. we make smthg similar in Afghanistan- lamb or mutton, baked with tomatoes and aubergine, but i like this addition of a carb. sounds delicious&lovely.

  20. sophia says:

    Oh that looks gorgeous and SOOO yummy! I wonder if I can turn this into a slow-cooker recipe?

  21. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best says:

    This is a wonderful combination of beans and grains and spices! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  22. sweetlife says:

    what a great dish, so many flavors!!


  23. Faith says:

    I’ve only ever had this dish with rice instead of bulgur. I would love to try this version, as it sounds incredible!

  24. Chef E says:

    How delicious! Five in the morning and I feel like sharing, but this reminds me of culinary school. We had to find five ingredients off of a table for our team to make a dish. I confidently grabbed bulgar and off we went. I made fritters, but the judges went for some simple dish team (judges were just other college teachers, no CA). I thought this is culinary school, no adventuring taste buds!

    I have to revisit Bulgar and make this!

  25. Mathai says:

    OMG! that looks delicious! A little mutton wouldn’t do any harm 😛 but I’m sure this is just as tasty

  26. Jean says:

    Joum, I just love this dish!!! I will make it right away, off to the market in Little India where they sell the best eggplant. Btw, your new site design is cool, but I can’t find the “print this recipe” button (or is it in an obvious place and can’t hide my persbyopia anymore?)

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