The Iraqi term tepsi simply means casserole. You know, that one pot dish that is baked in the oven and presented in the same dish it was cooked in.This aubergine (eggplant) and kubba tepsi (تبسي باذإنجان و كبة) is one of many Iraqi casserole dishes.
Admittedly, I used fried rice kubba, although it is more traditional to use burghul kubba, shaped as a disk rather than a torpedo. Despite the preparation needed to make this dish, the actual making is as simple as it gets: layer fried aubergine, fried kubba, and tomato sliced alternating in order; top with a tomato sauce and bake. Serve with some plain rice and that is one filling meal.
Note that I opted to broil my aubergines rather than fry them to minimized the oil uptake. They were still awesome.
You can also substitute the pomegranate molasses with lemon juice or tamarind paste, or leave it out altogether.
2 large aubergines (eggplants)
18 pieces rice kubba (or burghul kubba)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 cups water
Cut the aubergines into 18 slices, each slice about a finger’s width.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone sheet and arrange the aubergines in single layer.
Lightly salt the aubergines and drizzle with olive oil.
Broil the aubergines until golden and blistered. Turn them over and repeat; then set aside.
While the aubergines are broiling, fry the kubba until golden brown; set aside.
Cut the tomatoes into slices about half a centimeter wide.
To make the sauce, whisk together the tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, water, and half a teaspoon of salt; set aside.
To assemble, preheat oven to 400F.
Arrange an aubergine slice, a kubba, and a tomato slice, slightly over-lapping and repeating until the baking dish is snugly filled.
Pour over the tomato sauce.
Bake, loosely covered in foil for about 45 minutes, and an additional 10 minutes uncovered.
Serve with a side of rice.