Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Request for Chiltik – an eggplant, tomato and garlic dish



Can anyone help? Beth Lewis is looking for a specific dish called Chiltik. 

Here’s her request:
“Years ago, my husband had a dish in Germany made by an Armenian man who was from Turkey.  It was called "chiltik" and consisted of layers of eggplant and tomatoes with garlic.  I have searched for years to find a recipe with no success.  Do you know a recipe for this dish or where I can find a recipe?”
Photo via Inspired Taste
After sending her a recipe I found on the internet for  sauteed eggplant with tomato-garlic sauce (see below), she said that wasn’t it, and offered a better description.

Beth wrote:
“The man who made it said that first the eggplant was sliced very thin (like with a mandolin slicer), brushed with olive oil and then slightly baked. Then the tomatoes and garlic are sliced just as thin and all 3 are layered in a pan like you would cook scalloped potatoes.  I don't know if it was cooked or marinated after that.  There also may have been vinegar in the dish.  All the vegetables were firm and the dish seemed simple but very tasty.”

Dear readers, I’m asking for assistance once again. If this recipe is familiar to you, please email me: robyn@thearmeniankitchen.com, or leave a comment with your recipe or suggestion.

Depending on the complete ingredient list, this could be a perfect Lenten recipe, so the sooner we hear from you, the better.  (FYI: This year Lent begins on Monday, February 11.)  
Thanks!

Here's the recipe I sent Beth:
 SAUTEED EGGPLANT WITH TOMATO-GARLIC SAUCE
From   Ayla Esen Algar
Yield: 4 servings
  Ingredients:
       1 Eggplant
       Salt
       Extra virgin olive oil
      10 oz. Can tomatoes with liquid
       1 Chopped tomato
       1 tbsp. Tomato paste
       2 tbsp. Water
       2 tsp. Mashed garlic
       2 tsp. Vinegar
  Directions:
   1. Cut stem off eggplant.  Remove strips of skin with a vegetable peeler.  Cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices.  Spread on a cookie sheet & sprinkle with lots of salt.  Put in a colander   & set aside for 4 hours.
   2.  Rinse well & drain.  Heat oil in skillet & fry eggplant slices over a high heat till they are golden brown on all sides.  Drain.
   3.  Pour off all but 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Mash tomatoes with a fork & put into skillet.  Simmer, stirring often, 5 to 10 minutes, until they form a thin sauce. Blend in tomato paste & water. Cook 1 minute. Stir in garlic & vinegar & remove from heat.
   4.  Arrange eggplant slices on a serving dish & pour over sauce.  Serve warm.
  

4 comments:

  1. Hi Robyn,

    I found this recipe in a cookbook called 'Favorite Recipes of the Armenian Memorial Church.' I don't know if it's close, but it sounds like what you're looking for.

    2 medium eggplants
    oil for sauteing
    1 11-ounce can Italian tomatoes
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1 lb Parmesan cheese, grated
    1 medium Mozzarella cheese, sliced
    1 lb salami, sliced

    Peel eggplants, slice about 1/4 inch thick. Cover with lightly salted water and soak for 1/2 hour. Drain and dry. Saute in oil until golden.

    In another pan, cook tomatoes and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil over slow heat to a sauce consistency.

    In an oiled baking dish, arrange layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, grated cheese, salami and Mozzarella cheese, repeating until all ingredients are used. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

    Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. May be served hot or cold.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mom Chef,
      Thanks for your suggestion; it sure does sound tasty, but there was no mention of cheese or meat in Beth's request, plus she said the tomatoes were sliced thin like the eggplant.
      So, the search continues.

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  2. Was the dish served hot or cold? Was the garlic raw or cooked? Were there any fresh herbs? If yes, then the dish was probably marinated like a salad, with lemon juice or vinegar and olive oil. If the garlic and tomato were cooked, then it sounds to me like a variant on imam bayildi, the only odd thing being the presence of the vinegar. Personally, since I don't like vinegar, I would put some freshly squeezed lemon juice or verjus (verjus goes very well with eggplant for some reason).

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  3. Robyn, I hate to state the obvious but the description sounds like imam bayildi, which is, after all, the greatest of all possible combinations of olive oil, eggplant, tomatoes, onions and garlic.

    Given all the recent praise for the Mediterranean diet, this dish is perfection. Well, maybe need to add a nice glass of red wine.

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