If using fresh herbs wash them, so that they have time to dry before you chop them.
Wash the rice until the water almost runs clear.
Transfer it into a small ideally coated pan and add 180ml / 3/4 cup cold water to it. Season with salt.
Put it over medium heat until it’s simmering. Let it simmer this way until the water is reduced and you see small holes forming in the rice. Then put on the lid and reduce the temperature to low. Let the rice steam this way for 30 minutes.
In the meantime bring some water to boil in another small pan. Add the split peas and wait for the water to boil again. Then reduce the heat to medium and let them cook for about 15 to 30 minutes. The cooking time varies from brand to brand. Make sure they are cooked all the way through, then drain them and set them aside.
Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Fry the meat in it for about 10 minutes until golden brown. While frying, divide the mince/ground meat into fine crumbles.
Season with 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp black pepper and salt. Transfer the meat from the pan to a deep plate or bowl.
Finely chop the parsley, basil and tarragon and add them to the meat.
Cut a lengthwise 1cm / 0.4” slice off the aubergines. These slices will serve as lids.
Hollow out the bottom part of the aubergines using a paring knife. Leave the walls of the aubergines about 1cm / 0.4” thick.
Chop the insides of the aubergine into fairly fine pieces. Briefly sauté them in 1 tbsp vegetable oil for about 3 minutes. Set them aside for later.
Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic cloves.
Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in the frying pan. Gently sauté the chopped onion in it over medium heat.
After 5 minutes add the garlic and sauté both together for another 5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, butter and 240ml / 1 cup freshly boiled water to the onions. Season with 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp black pepper and salt.
Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. Then transfer it to the pan you want to cook the stuffed aubergines in (one that has a lid).
Combine the meat, rice, split peas and sautéed aubergines for the stuffing.
Generously fill the bottom parts of the aubergines with the stuffing. Pour a few tbsp of the sauce on top of the filling. Place the stuffed aubergines in the pan with the remaining sauce and put on the top parts. If you like, you can add some fresh hot peppers and cherry vine tomatoes to the pan.
Put the lid on the pan and turn the temperature on low. Let the stuffed aubergines cook for 45 minutes.
Serve the aubergines on a bed of sauce. Enjoy!