Eggplants « Imam Bayildi »

These candied eggplants stuffed with candied onions in tomato sauce are simply marvelous! Their Turkish name reveal the ottoman origin of the dish because Imam Bayildi or Ιμάμ Μπαïλντί means the Imam passed out! If you want to learn why and how you need to read the story below :) Try them but be careful not to pass out that’s how good these eggplants are :)

Also available in different formats :-)

 imam bayildi - la boutique - solo food

In two words:

“I must behold at the most beautiful places I stayed,
There where Time is reaching infinity”.

To Start...

difficulty easy
cooking - 30' (preparing eggplants) + 15' (preparing the sauce) + 1h (for the final dish)
serves - 2


Eggplants preparation

  • Preheat the oven at 180°C
  • Cut off the eggplants top, wash them and dry them out
  • Cut the eggplants in two in the vertical axis
  • Make multiple deep X in their skin with a knife
  • Put inside the incisions in X some fleur le sel or coarse salt
  • Cook the eggplants in the oven for 30’

Onion and tomato sauce

  • Peel the onions and cut them in two, next slice them in fine slices to give the shape of half-moons
  • Peel and chisel finely the garlic in fine rounds
  • Heat-up a casserole
  • Add the onion and stir constantly until their humidity evaporates a bit
  • Add the olive oil and stir again until the onion become brown
  • Add the garlic and stir in with the onion
  • Add the tomato puree and stir again
  • Add the hot water and stir
  • Add salt and pepper and stir one last time
  • Put the lid on and cook in a medium heat for 15’ until there is almost no water

Putting everything together

  • Crash with the back of a fork the part of the eggplants with the deep X
  • Pour the onion sauce in every eggplant
  • Cook in the oven for 1h
  • Serve with a bit of feta cheese, bread and if you want to change a little bit add some tzatziki light :-)
  • Enjoy!

What’s the story behind this recipe?

This is another Turkish recipe or to be exact an ottoman recipe as its name reveals :) it’s called Imam Bayildi or Ιμάμ Μπαïλντί and it’s a dish so good that even the Imam passed out when he tasted it! That good it was! It’s a dish that I adore and I am capable to eat more than once in a week and this for many weeks to follow! I actually love eggplants so this 100% vegan dish is suitable for everyone even when you are on a diet because there so little fat! Usually this dish bathes into olive oil because it belongs to the family of “oily dishes” that we have in Greece but here it is as light as the thin air but still extremely good thanks to its long cooking that transforms eggplants into candied eggplants :-) Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that it’s better to eat with the skin on because it brings a slight bitterness that’s more than wonderful to the dish! Try to make them but be aware because you can also pass out! 

o-o C'est si bon ! o-o

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