2 small eggplants, cut into ¼” slices
1 medium potato, cut into ¼” slices
4–5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¾ cup shredded cheese
⅓ lb ground beef or pork
½ 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, unsalted
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons (15 g) bread flour, sifted
200 ml milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
Mint leaves, as desired
Glass or Stainless Steel Lid
Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat for about 90 seconds. Add in 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat evenly. Allow smoke to rise from the entire surface of the skillet, then reduce to medium heat. Add eggplant and sear for about 1 minute per side. Once lightly browned, remove from skillet and set aside. Repeat the steps for the potato and any remaining eggplant.
For the Meat Sauce, add 1 tablespoon of oil, garlic, salt, cumin seed, and chili powder to the same skillet. Sauté over low heat for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add onion and sauté until soft and caramelized, about 5 minutes.
Move onions to the side of the skillet and add the ground meat. Brown over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Cover and simmer under very low heat for about 10 minutes, then set aside.
For the White Sauce, add butter to a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Once the butter melts, add bread flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once the texture becomes smooth, gradually pour in milk and stir well until even to avoid lumps. Once the sauce thickens, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and remove from heat. Preheat oven to 410ºF (210ºC).
Rinse and dry the skillet, then layer half of the potato slices, Meat Sauce, and eggplant in that order. Layer the remaining half of each ingredient. Add White Sauce and shredded cheese on top.
Transfer to oven and bake for about 20–30 minutes or until browned to your liking.
Garnish with mint and chili powder, and serve.
Watch the recipe video.
A delightful, delicious guide, our cookbook empowers you to master every cooking technique with recipes that span from cherished Japanese dishes to fresh, modern favorites.