- Eggplant8 Piece(s)small eggplants (or 4 large)
- Onions2 Piece(s)medium and thin
- Tomato4 Piece(s)small ripe but firm tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
- Cloves of Garlic3 Piece(s)Pressed
- Parsley1 As neededone bunch of minced parsley
- Peppers2 Piece(s)green or red peppers ginned and cut in 2
- Sugar1 Teaspoon(s)
- Water1/2 Cup(s)
- Salt PepperAs needed
- Olive OilAs needed
This dish bears the evocative name of Imam Bayildi, which means in Turkish “the Imam has fainted”. Legend has it that one day a Muslim cleric would have fainted with pleasure by tasting these stuffed aubergines. I must admit that I understand, this very simple Imam Bayildi gives a delicious result.
Preparing and frying eggplants
Start by peeling the eggplant leaving one skin strip on two.
Wash them in cold water and make an incision in the length without crossing the eggplant and leaving 2 cm at the top and at the bottom.
Fry them on all sides in a frying pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn them over several times during cooking until they are tender.
Prepare the stuffing
While cooking your eggplant, prepare the stuffing.
Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions for 10 minutes until golden brown and tender.
Then add the tomatoes and 2 cloves of garlic. Mix and cook for 5 minutes. After this time, salt, pepper, sprinkle with sugar and sprinkle with parsley. Cook 5 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Your preparation should not be watery but confit.
When the eggplants are cooked remove them from the pan and let cool in a dish. After the end of cooking the stuffing, also cool a few minutes.
After a few minutes of cooling, fill the inside of the aubergines with the onion-tomato mixture. When they are stuffed drop on each half a chilli.
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Cooking and decorate Imam Bayildi
Arrange them in a pan, spread the remaining garlic (or sprinkle with garlic semolina), decorate if you want a few dice of peppers (no matter the color, vary for the pleasure of the eyes.
Cook for 5 minutes over high heat and uncovered. Then wet with half a glass of water. When it begins to boil turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 35 minutes.
The aromas will develop and blend during cooking.
This Imam Bayildi is served cold, so it gives off the maximum of flavors and fragrances.
Some recipes add raisins or pine nuts. Personally, I do not recommend it because the originality of this dish lies in the simplicity of its ingredients and in the slow cooking mode in several stages. Moreover, the addition of sweet elements is useless because the onion, tomato gently candied in a little sugar already bring the sweetness that was right of the taste buds of our legendary Imam.