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Aubergine kebabs

Badimjan kababi - Aubergine kebabs
Kebabs – barbecued meat, fish and vegetables – are a perennial favourite in Azerbaijan.

Aubergine (eggplant) kebabs are usually cooked to accompany lamb and lule kebabs. Aubergines to be cooked on the barbecue should not be too large or they will blacken on the outside before they are cooked through. A piece of sheep fat (quyruq) is placed inside each aubergine to keep it moist. The fat, considered a delicacy, comes from the high fatty rump or tail which is characteristic of the most common breed of sheep in Azerbaijan. If you cannot get hold of sheep fat, or prefer a vegetarian option, drizzle some vegetable oil or olive oil inside the aubergines instead.

Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 15-20 min
Serves: 3-4


  • 10 small aubergines (not too large or they will blacken on the outside before they are cooked through)
  • 75 g/3 oz sheep fat
  • salt & pepper


  • Top and tail and wash the aubergines (they have to be small). Make a small slit in them lengthways through the “stomach”. Salt the slit and set aside for 30 to 60 minutes to extract the bitterness. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Slice the sheep fat and cut the slices into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces. Place a slice of fat inside each aubergine.
  • If not using sheep fat, drizzle vegetable oil or olive oil into the inside of each aubergine and allow to soak in.
  • Thread the aubergines onto skewers widthways or lengthways (depending on the size of the aubergines).
  • Cook over hot coals for 15 to 20 minutes until the aubergines are cooked through.
  • The skin is not eaten and can be peeled off before serving. Serve with salt & pepper and herbs.
  • Aubergine kebabs are often served with bell pepper and tomato kebabs as an accompaniment to meat or fish kebabs.

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