Mom’s Recipes

Aubergine with Savoury Mince in the Afghan Manner: Bonjon Ke

2 servings



total time


olive or sunflower oil for frying

1 lb aubergine, (preferably small Italian variety, sliced 1 cm thick)

1/2 lb mince meat (lamb or beef You can use 1 lb of mince if you prefer a meatier dish)

1 + 1/4 tsp salt

1 + 1/2 tsp garlic clove, (minced)

1/2 a small onion, (finely chopped)

1 15 oz can tomato sauce/stewed chopped tomatoes/passata (divided into 8 and 7 oz)

pinch chili pepper

pinch turmeric

1 tsp dried mint

1 tub yogurt (not of the thick Greek genre)

hot paprika for garnish


Prepare the savoury mince

In a heavy-bottomed pan add meat, salt, 1 minced garlic clove, minced onion, tomato paste, 7 oz tomato sauce, a pinch of chili pepper and turmeric, 1 cup water. Stir, cover and leave to cook on a low-medium flame for one hour. *Stir/check every 20 minutes to make sure the liquid is evaporating and the meat is not sticking to the bottom of the pot;

When the water has evaporated and the mince looks 'saucy', add the mint, stir and turn the heat off.

Prepare the aubergine for baking

Place a large frying pan or skillet over a medium heat and pour in the olive or sunflower oil to a depth of about 1cm. As soon as the oil is hot, slip in the aubergine discs and fry on both sides until they are a nutty golden colour. As aubergine absorbs oil like a sponge, you will have to keep adding more oil to the pan. The aubergine will be baked in the oven later, so they need not be cooked all the way through.

Transfer the aubergine to paper towels to absorb excess oil. Set aside.

Prepare the tomato base

In a saucepan, fry on a medium flame, ½ clove of garlic till golden and fragrant, add 8oz canned tomato sauce and ¼ tsp salt. Stir for 5 minutes. Leave to rest.

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4

Assemble the dish for baking

Pour the tomato base into an an oven-proof dish (I used a 27 cm quiche dish) create a layer of aubergines in the quiche dish, and spread the savoury mince on top. If you've used ½ lb of mince, it will be more of a 'scattering' of mince (my preference).

Bake covered for 25 minutes, uncovered for 20 minutes.

Allow the dish to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature before the next step (the yoghurt will curdle if poured over when the dish is too hot).

Final touches before serving

Whip yogurt with a few tablespoons of water, season with salt and pour over the layers of aubergine and savoury mince. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with a trail of olive oil.

Serve with naan or chelo shibit, fresh dill-spiced rice.

2 servings



total time
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