6-8 very firm vine-ripened tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
250g lamb mince
2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley
freshly cracked black pepper
185ml beef stock or water
125ml olive oil
80g unsalted butter
Garlic yoghurt, to serve
crusty bread, to serve
Slice the tops off the tomatoes. Scoop out and reserve the tomato flesh and seeds.
Use a mortar and pestle to grind the cumin seeds until fine.
Put the rice and 250 ml water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the allspice and ground cumin. Stir in the rice and lamb, then add the parsley and season with sea salt and black pepper. Add the beef stock or water and simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until the lamb is just cooked through. Stir in the reserved tomato flesh and seeds.
Spoon the lamb mixture into the tomato shells. Place the tomatoes in a heavy-based frying pan and pour in 250 ml hot water and the olive oil. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are cooked. Serve with garlic yoghurt and crusty bread, or a simple garden salad.
From Turkish Flavours by Sevtap Yüce.