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Lebanese Makdous

Cured baby eggplants stuffed with walnuts, peppers chilli and garlic

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Lebanese
Keyword Cured, Pickled, vegan
Servings 40 makdous
Author Zaatar and Zaytoun


  • 2 kg approx 40 very small baby eggplants
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 long Romero red peppers
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 hot chilli
  • 3 cups of walnuts
  • Sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil approx 1.5 litres


  1. Wash the baby eggplants, then place in a large pot and cover with a heat proof plate. Add water to cover then bring to the boil
  2. Cook the baby eggplants for around 15 minutes, then drain in a colander
  3. With a sharp knife gently peel away the tops, they should come away without much difficulty

  4. Make a slit down one side stopping just before the end. Sprinkle each eggplant with sea salt inside and out

  5. Divide the eggplants between two or more colanders and line them on the inside so they are not overlapping. Press with either a snugly fitting bowl and top with heavy objects such as cans or bricks
  6. Place a tray under the colanders to collect any juices that are pressed out. After 48 hours, transfer the pressed eggplants to a clean flat tray and leave to dry preferably in direct sunlight
  7. When the eggplants are drying in the sun, prepare the red peppers by pulsing them in the food processor until they are finely chopped but not mushed completely
  8. Transfer the red peppers to a fine mesh sieve so the juices completely drain and place in the sun so they dry beside the eggplants

  9. Prepare the preserving jars by running through the dish washer and leave to dry very well

  10. When the red peppers and eggplants have completely dried (after at least a few hours in the sun or the next day), start to prepare the rest of the filling
  11. Break up the walnuts or chop until you have a coarse texture. Mix the walnuts with the dried peppers in a mixing bowl

  12. Chop the garlic with the chilli either in a processor or by hand. Sprinkle with some salt and add to the walnuts and pepper.
  13. Taste the filling to make sure it is not too spicy or salty. Take into account the eggplants will become more sour as they cure in the oil
  14. Take each dried eggplant and fill generously with the filling, then stack them lightly in the preserving jar
  15. Top them with extra virgin olive oil to cover, sprinkle on some sea salt and seal well
  16. Leave to cure for about two weeks before eating.

Recipe Notes

Alternatively, you can arrange the pressed eggplants in a wide rectangular colander with a tray underneath

As you eat the makdous, avoid exposing the remaining ones to air by making sure they are submerged in the oil.

The makdous will be good for up to a year.