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You can use minced chicken instead of the lamb. Or, for a vegie version, stuff with cous cous or quinoa.
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Heat oil in a small heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Set aside.
3. Put lamb, garlic, cinnamon, chilli, mint, breadcrumbs, egg and parsley in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. Season well.
4. Halve eggplant lengthways. Using a melon baller, scoop out about ½ the flesh to leave a cavity. Set aside.
5. Season inside each eggplant half, then spoon equal amounts of lamb mixture into each cavity. Top each half with a little cheese. Put eggplant in a baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 170°C.
6. Combine stock, tomato paste, tomatoes, eggplant balls and oil. Pour mixture around eggplant, but don’t cover entirely. Add bay leaves. Cover dish with a sheet of baking paper, then with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
7. To serve, sprinkle parsley over eggplant halves and spoon over any sauce. Serve with rice.Tips:
When choosing eggplant, look for firm, shiny, brightly coloured fruits that feel solid and heavy for their size. The fruit is fresh if the stalk is stout, firm and green.[[image:14088172]]