Home Recipe ContentImam Bayildi

Imam Bayildi

Published : June 08, 2015

This traditional Turkish dish is served cold, but if the weather dictates something warmer, it is just as good hot.

Serves 6


6 small eggplants
Salt and pepper
200mls olive oil
450g onions, peeled and chopped 3 cloves garlic, crushed
400g can chopped tomatoes, drained 4 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice


  • Pre-heat oven to 150C.
  • Halve the eggplants lengthways and scoop out the flesh leaving substantial shells.
  • Chop the flesh and set aside.
  • Sprinkle the insides of the eggplant with salt, invert onto a plate and leave for 30 minutes.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes, chopped eggplant, parsley and coriander. Season with pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the mixture has reduced slightly.
  • Rinse the eggplant shells and place in a shallow ovenproof dish.
  • Spoon the filling into the shells.
  • Mix the remaining oil with 150mls water, sugar and lemon juice and season to taste. Pour over the eggplants and bake for 1 hour or until tender.
  • Leave to cool and then chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with hot pitta bread and tzatziki.

This dish, Imam Bayildi, literally means, "the Imam fainted". As the legend goes, a certain Imam (Muslim religious leader), after observing a holy day and ending a long fast, was so taken with the delicious aroma of this dish, he fainted dead away. The dish was named in his honor. As with many traditional foods, there are however a great many ‘stories’, legends and even Turkish proverbs which purport to explain the naming of this exquisite dish! 

Recipe: Jo Beer www.revitalise.com.au

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