1 Wash, peel and cut the aubergine in half and score the insides before frying them. Place them in paper to absorb the olive oil. 2 Sauté the finely chopped onion and garlic in a pan with the olive oil. Then add the minced meat and stir to toast. 3 Add the spices, tomato paste, peeled and chopped tomatoes, garlic cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon stick, and cook for about 40 minutes. 4 For the sauce, place the butter in a saucepan, add flour and stir with a spatula until the mixture goes golden. Add the warm milk, constantly stirring while doing so, and cook over a low temperature. Then add all the spices, salt, nutmeg, pepper, egg along with the gruyere cheese. 5 Place in a baking dish with the aubergine and apply a layer of meat and then sauce before sprinkling with the cheese. 6 Bake at 170°C for 20-25 minutes. Plate up as pictured.
Tip: There shouldn’t be much liquid around the mince when the aubergine is added and add some sugar to the dish to bring out the flavours.
Name: Yiannis Baxevanis Nationality: Greek Chef Yiannis cut his teeth in France before returning to Greece to work as a gourmet chef with Grecotel Mykonos Blue, Elounda Beach and Grand Lagonissi Resort. He is a consultant for several top restaurants in Greece and has channelled his Mediterranean flair into Elia at the Majestic Hotel since moving to Dubai. To book at table at Elia at Majestic Hotel Dubai, call 04 359 8888