Fried Lamb with Eggplant and Kashkaval Cheese

Braised lamb with eggplant and kashkaval cheese is a rustic dish from Istanbul, Turkey. You might think of it a bit like lamb or goat lamb and cheesy mashed potatoes, if those potatoes had a delicious roasty, smoky flavor from being cooked directly over coals. Read on and I’ll explain how it’s done.

Turkish fried lamb with eggplant in a bowl garnished with fresh mint, pine nuts and pomegranite seeds.

Roasting eggplant over coals

The original recipe is from a fantastic book on Turkish cooking anyone who likes Middle Eastern food will want to have a copy of: The Turkish Cookbook. The original recipe is just roasted eggplant, but I love charring them whole over coals so much I couldn’t resist embellishing the recipe a bit.

Roasting eggplant over coals in a wood fire grill.

You can also char eggplant over the flame on a gas burner, or just roast them in the oven as I mention in the recipe but the flavor won’t be exactly the same.

After the eggplant is charred, you remove the skin, chop it, and make it into a chunky mash along the lines of mashed potatoes, with rich kashkaval cheese stirred in at the end.

Kashkaval cheese wrapped in plastic on a black background.
Kashkaval. If you can’t find any, provalone is a decent substitute.


For the lamb, you brown some lamb stew meat, then braise in in stock until tender and cool.

After it’s cool, you remove it from the liquid, pat it dry, fry it up to brown it again, then spoon it on top of the mashed eggplant—that’s it. You can make the lamb and eggplant mash ahead of time and reheat them if you want to work ahead.

If you like eggplant and different cooking techniques, make sure to give it a try sometime. It’s a great recipe for grill season.

Fried lamb with eggplant on a piece of flatbread.
This is the perfect thing to serve with flatbread to
Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo.



This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo. He’s a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

Turkish fried lamb with mashed eggplant recipe
Fried lamb with mashed eggplant, pomegranate seeds and mint.

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Turkish fried lamb with mashed eggplant recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Fried Lamb with Eggplant and Kashkaval Cheese

A traditional Turkish dish of braised fried lamb on a bed of creamy mashed eggplant with kashkaval cheese, mint and pomegranite.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Turkish
Keyword: Eggplant, Goat, Lamb
Servings: 4
Calories: 513kcal


  • 1 Grill or oven
  • 1 Braising pot or dutch oven



  • ¼ cup rendered lamb tallow plus more for browning the lamb before serving
  • 1 lb lamb stew meat
  • 2 cups lamb or meat stock


  • 2 medium to large Italian eggplant
  • 1 small 1 teaspoon clove minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup goat or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour sifted
  • 4 oz grated kashkaval cheese
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Fresh grated nutmeg to taste
  • For serving
  • Fresh torn mint leaves
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil for garnishing



  • Pat the lamb dry. Season the lamb with ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper and mix. Heat half of the oil in a dutch oven or a deep oven-safe skillet.
  • Preheat the oven to 237F.
  • Working in batches, brown the lamb well on one side, then transfer to a bowl. Pour off any oil from the pot and discard. Add the stock to the pan, scraping up the browned bits, then add the lamb back to the pot, cover, and bake at 275 F for one hour. Remove from the oven and reserve.


  • Start a wood grill, then cook the eggplants directly on the hot coals, turning every few minutes, until tender, about 10 minutes. You can also bake the eggplants with the oven temperature at 300F for 1 hour. Transfer the eggplants to a bowl to cool.
  • Put the eggplants on a cutting board and remove the skin. Cutting the eggplants in half can make peeling easier. Discard the charred skin, then cut the eggplant flesh into 1 inch squares.
  • Heat a 3 quart or similar sized pan with the butter, then add the eggplant pulp and sweat on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, mashing it up as you go with a wooden spoon, until you can see the bottom of the pan as you stir and some liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle in the flour and mix to combine, then cook for 5 minutes more.
  • Do not allow the bottom of the pan to darken--if the mixture starts to stick, add the milk. Add the goat or other milk and mix well, then cook until slightly thickened and the mixture looks like mashed potatoes.
  • Turn off the heat and stir the cheese into the eggplant just before serving. Double check the seasoning for salt and pepper, adjust until it tastes good to you, then reserve.


  • Drain the lamb pieces, reserving the cooking liquid to make soup. Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a 10 inch or similar sized skillet, pat the pieces of lamb dry, then add the lamb to the pan and cook until browned and crisp on one side.
  • Spread out the hot mashed eggplant in a wide bowl or serving dish. Spoon the lamb into the center, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh pomegranate seeds, and fresh torn mint leaves.



Variation Lamb in Tomato Sauce

Instead of using stew meat, cook ground lamb with garlic, onion and chopped tomatoes until thick. you can add a small (1inch) piece of cinnamon stick if you like. Season to taste, add some torn fresh mint leaves and serve the lamb mixture  on top of the eggplant. Garnish with pine nuts.


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 486mg | Potassium: 1138mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 467IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 390mg | Iron: 3mg