Imam bayıldı

Imam bayıldı

By
From
Eat Istanbul
Serves
6 as a starter
Photographer
David Loftus

This famed Turkish dish translates as ‘the imam fainted’, a reference to the common myth that an imam found culinary heaven in this heady mix of stewed aubergine, vegetables and olive oil. It is delicious hot or cold.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 long aubergines
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 long green peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato puree
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Method

  1. Peel 4 lengthwise strips of skin from each aubergine so they have stripes along their sides. Make a cut into each aubergine, from about 2cm from the bottom almost to the top, penetrating about halfway into the aubergine. Soak them in a bowl of cold water with the lemon juice and ½ tablespoon sea salt for about 30 minutes. This helps remove the bitterness from the aubergines. Drain on kitchen paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the aubergines on all sides until golden brown and softened, or for about 7–8 minutes. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in the frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onions, garlic and peppers until softened, or for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sugar, cumin and tomato purée and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season this filling generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Carefully open the incisions in the aubergines and spoon the filling equally into them. Arrange the stuffed aubergines snugly on a baking dish or tray. Pour some water and a little olive oil around them and bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes until tender and golden brown. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve warm or cold.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish food
Middle Eastern
Andy Harris
David Loftus
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