Friday, 23 June 2017

Imam Bayildi ... food

Iman Bayildi  - aubergine stuffed with onions and garlic

Aubergines with tomatoes, onions and garlic, a summer favourite around here.
When we were growing up my father grew aubergines for market garden.  Back then they were an exotic vegetable and we called them eggplant.  

Imam bayildi is a turkish dish meaning 'the Iman fainted', either because the dish was so delicious or the cook used up an enormous amount of olive oil.  Aubergines soak up oil like a sponge.

Imam - Muslim religious leader

I prefer my aubergines coated with flour and fried.  When done properly they are sweet and crisp and delicious

However, one of the traditional ways to eat them is with tomatoes and lots of garlic.  This is my version.

First prepare the aubergines -
- Use those fat purple aubergines.   Remove the stalks and cut them in half.  I then run a sharp knife around the inside of each half to loosen the insides.  

I have never soaked mine in salted water as some say you should do to remove the bitterness.  Mine are not bitter.  

aubergines and fresh garlic

- Place the aubergine halves in a baking dish and sprinkle with olive oil.  Bake in a moderate oven for about half an hour until soft.

-  Meanwhile make the sauce. 
 For four aubergine halves you need about 2 big onions, cut lengthwise and sliced thinly .  
- Put these in a pot with a cup of olive oil and four chopped garlic cloves.  
- Fry it all slowly till the onions soften a little.  
- a tin of tomato chunks or 3 - 4 tomatoes grated
- a handful of chopped parsley
- a teaspoon of sugar to combat the acidity of the tomatoes
- salt and lots of pepper

- after half an hour take the aubergines out of the oven.  Scoop out the softened insides, making a shell.   Chop the insides and add to the sauce

- Simmer it all for fifteen minutes then pour the sauce over the aubergine halves, making sure they are full.  Let it pour over the sides as well so all the aubergine is covered.

-  Add a little water to the baking dish and cook in the oven for about one hour

This what they should look like after baking.

Serve at room temperature with feta cheese,  bread to soak up the juices and red wine to drink.

Another way to use the aubergine is to make it into a 'salad' which I would call a paste or a dip.  I have never found one of these 'salads' which I like.  When I do, I'll pass on the recipe.  Usually they are too sharp and acid-y with lots of vinegar and garlic.


  1. Oh looks so yummy. I love eggplants. I grow them in my summer garden. But usually I grow the smaller finger sized ones as a big one for two people is just too big. But this would make a wonderful side dish for an Aussie BBQ with a Greek twist!

    1. If you like eggplant then you should definitely try this recipe. My husband loves them this way

  2. I've never been a huge fan of eggplants (as we call them here), but that recipe sounds and looks very good! I always thought you needed to soak them in salt water, too. Good to know that you don't really have to do that. -Jenn

  3. I'm lazy. I cut mine in half, criss-cross the flesh with a knife, then fry in plenty of olive oil. When cooked I leave them to become tepid before eating (usually for lunch).

    1. Not the sort of thing I would like! Sliced thinly and fried, yes. Chopped up in curries or ratatouille, OK.

  4. We also call them eggplants (hatsilim in Hebrew), i like them in any form.

    1. You must have lots of recipes with eggplant. I didn't really eat them at all until i got to Greece.
      Here they are called 'melitzanes'...

  5. If I try to do anything with an aubergine it turns out something we cannot eat. However I buy a prepared quick meal of aubergine, rather like the recipe that you described, and heat it up in the oven and it is delicious. When we eat at the local curry house I always have an aubergine side dish. Prepare it myself and it is a disaster!

    1. Plenty of other things to cook!
      Enjoy it how you can

  6. That looks really delicious indeed. Warm greetings!

    1. You either like aubergines or you don't! The Greeks love them.
      Thanks for your comment