Challenging Arts & Crafts

Imam Bayildi ( Stuffed Eggplant ) Recipe

The eggplants I used for this recipe came from my organic pot planting. I just harvested 3 of them and decided to cook a famous turkish recipe called Imam Bayildi. 

According to the legend, Imam Bayildi was a turkish caliph (muslim priest) who was presented this dish by his wife...and "fainted" after eating it . Many speculated that he lost his conciousness because of its goodness when he ate this dish. Others said , he fainted because the dish was braised with so much olive oil...The story became famous throughout Turkey that they named it after him!

This is my version, instead of marinated olives,I used raisins so as to give it a sweet and sour flavour... This can also be frozen easily without causing any change in its flavor when thawed, so it´s perfect for lunch or dinner as main course or by-dish.

This was the pic of the 3 bigger ones before I harvested them. Below is the Recipe which is my own version of Imam Bayildi .

Ingredients :
3 Eggplants medium size
4 macerated fresh garlic, a bunch of spring onions
4 big tomatoes about 1/2 kg, cubed
1 cup raisins or 2 tbsp sugar substitute such a Stevia in powder form

1 cubed red bell pepper
1/2 cup olive oil juice of 1 lemon or 1 calamansi
1 cup water
250 ml tomato purée
1 tbsp soya sauce ( optional )
salt, pepper according to your taste

Here´s how I did it:

1. Slice the eggplant as in the pic above... the ones in the pic is the original cut per Turkish recipe. But I always slice them one by one so it would roast better in the oven.

2. Mix the lemon juice/calamansi juice with 1 cup of water + 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or normal cooking oil will do), and brush all the sides of the slices...this prevents the slices from getting dark.

3. fry the garlic til golden brown, add the cubed bell pepper then the cubed tomatoes, add 1 tbsp soya sauce.

4. add the tomato purée and cooked til the tomatoes crumbled loosing its form, add the raisins or the sugar substitute. Add salt & pepper and adjust taste...if you don´t like the sweet taste, omit the raisins and add green or black olives instead..or don´t put the olives at all. Set aside til ready to top the sliced eggplants.

5. Arrange the sliced eggplant in an oven pan and distribute the tomato fillings evenly on top of it

If you wish, you can also stuff or fill-in the eggplants as in the fan method shown below... taste remains the same, the only difference is that its appearance would look more bombastic and more appealing to your guests...

6. Cover the oven pan with aluminum foil, place in the middle rack of oven  and bake 1 hour in a preheated oven of 220°C . If you´re using gas oven , please google the conversion of this heat.

7. Remove the foil and brush the top of each slices with the mixture of 1 cup water+2 tabsp olive oil to prevent each slice from drying... bake 15 minutes more without the cover under 180°C. Remove the pan and let the slices cool down..

Imam Bayildi can be served hot or cold and best eaten with white bread or baguette.

PS: Last photo is an update on this blog on 7th of May, 2017