( SERVES 6 )
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cut eggplant in 1cm-thick slices (trimmed of stalks). Place the sliced eggplant in the water and simmer for 5 minutes to poach. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and drain well.
- Heat a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, finely diced large onions, chopped garlic and lamb mince and cook for 5 minutes, stirring and breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon. Add the spices, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste and parsley. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat oven to 200 degC. Spoon alternate layers of the eggplant and meat mixture into a lightly oiled large, deep-sided baking dish or six individual dishes - starting and finishing with a layer of eggplant.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk until blended.
- Return to the heat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring until the white sauce thickens. Season with salt and white pepper. Pour sauce over the eggplant layers and scatter with parmesan cheese. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Tip: Poaching in water eliminates eggplant's thirst for oil and leaves it incredibly moist, succulent and relatively fat-free.