Calla is one of the most popular dishes of Karaman cuisine. It is prepared simply by baking the lamb with summer vegetables. Its best feature is that it does not require pre-cooking or marination process. Even a person who has no experience in cooking meat can make a soft lamb stew with vegetables with this recipe. All you have to do is make sure you use a good meat.
Some meat sold as lamb meat smells like sheep pens, and it is almost impossible to eat. It is not possible for someone who has eaten that lamb meat for the first time to eat lamb meat again unless they force theirselves too much. Therefore, it is essential to get the meat from a safe place. Whether the lamb is good or not can be understood more or less before cooking. The priority is, of course, the smell. If it smells when raw, it will also smell when cooked. A second indicator is its color. Lamb is pink as it is tender. The lighter the color of the meat, the more tender and the softer the meat is.
Let’s go back to the dish … Calla is a dish first mixed with eggplant, green pepper, onion and garlic, then combined with a tomato sauce, and is baked in a covered manner with the addition of some butter. The cooking time is kept long so that the meat becomes really soft. In order to prevent the eggplants from melting during this long time, it is better to chop the eggplants coarsely.
Is There A Need To Keep Eggplants In Salty Water?
This is the most common question I get in eggplant recipes. This was a process that had to be done before. Eggplants would be bitter, and soaking them in salty water would take the bitterness of the eggplants. But eggplants, like any vegetable that has deteriorated in a sense, has changed over time and are no longer bitter unless they grow from heirloom seeds and are natural. If you can find natural eggplants grown from heirloom seeds and the eggplants you use are still bitter, it is better to soak them in salty water before using. But if you buy your eggplants from the supermarkets, there is no need to.
Enjoy the recipe…
- 500 g lamb meat, chopped,
- 2 eggplants,
- 1 green pepper,
- 1 onion,
- 1 tomato,
- 1 clove of garlic,
- 4-5 tablespoons of oil,
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste,
- 1 teaspoon butter,
- 2 cups of water,
- Chop the onion,
- Peel the eggplant and chop it coarsely,
- Finely chop the pepper and garlic,
- Put the lamb in a casserole or in a pan.
- Add the eggplant, pepper, onion and the garlic and mix,
- Heat oil in a small pan, add the tomato paste and stir fry until it smells good,
- Grate and add the tomato,
- Add water and salt, mix and remove from heat,
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables,
- Add the butter in tiny pieces,
- Cover the lid (or cover with greaseproof paper and aluminum foil) and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 1.5-2 hours.