Tepsi Baytinijan: A Scrumptious Eggplant Casserole from the Levant


Indulge in the rich and comforting flavors of the Levant with this mouthwatering Tepsi Baytinijan, a delightful eggplant casserole that will transport your taste buds on a culinary journey through the heart of the Middle East.

Tepsi Baytinijan: A Scrumptious Eggplant Casserole from the Levant

Preparation Details

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Number of Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 6
  • Serving Size: 1 cup

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 280
  • Total Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 520mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Dietary Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 5g


  • 2 large eggplants (about 2 lbs/900g), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup (240ml) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water or vegetable broth
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (50g) grated Parmesan or feta cheese

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare the eggplant: Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: In a large skillet, heat 1/2 cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using), and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and water (or broth) to the skillet. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  4. Assemble the casserole: Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with olive oil. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant slices, overlapping them slightly. Top with a portion of the remaining tomato sauce, and sprinkle with some grated cheese.
  5. Repeat the layers: Continue layering the eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of sauce and cheese on top.
  6. Bake the casserole: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender and the top is golden brown.
  7. Serve: Allow the casserole to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley or mint, if desired.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Salt the eggplant slices and let them sit for 30 minutes to draw out any bitterness before assembling the casserole.
  • Use a combination of eggplant and zucchini for added texture and flavor.
  • Adjust the spice level by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne pepper.
  • For a creamy twist, add a dollop of yogurt or tahini sauce on top when serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?

A: Absolutely! This eggplant casserole can be assembled a day in advance and baked just before serving.

Q: Can I use a different type of cheese?

A: While Parmesan and feta are traditional choices, you can experiment with other cheeses like mozzarella or a tangy goat cheese.

Q: Can I make this dish vegan?

A: Yes, simply omit the cheese and use a plant-based milk or broth instead of water for the sauce.

As you savor each bite of this delectable Tepsi Baytinijan, let the rich flavors and textures transport you to the vibrant markets and bustling kitchens of the Levant, where every dish is a celebration of tradition, family, and culinary artistry.