Armenia,  Greece,  Israel,  Recipes,  Turkey,  Vegetarian

İmam bayıldı

Oh my goodness, have you ever heard of “İmam Bayıldı”?And the best part? It’s super easy to make! İmam bayıldı (“the imam fainted”) is a dish in Ottoman cuisine consisting of whole aubergines stuffed with onions, garlic and tomatoes and stewed in olive oil. Aubergines were introduced into Turkish cuisine during the Seljuk period by the Arabs and within a few years became one of the most beloved vegetables of Ottoman cuisine. The first recipe for the olive oil-based dish was published in “Melceü’t Tabbahin” by Mehmet Kamil in 1844. It is no surprise that the meatless dish became popular throughout the region and even reached Greece.

The name is said to come from a story about a Turkish imam who fainted from the delight of the taste when his wife presented him with this dish. However, other more humorous reports suggest that he fainted when he heard the price of the ingredients or the amount of oil used to cook the dish.

You will need:

2 aubergines
6 garlic
4 tomatoes
tomato paste
sesame seeds
olive oil


First, you’ll need to slice the aubergines lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt and place cut-side down in a colander for 15 minutes.
Then, you’ll sauté the onion and garlic until they’re nice and fragrant. Next, add in the chopped cumin, tomato, tomato paste, parsley and sugar and let it all cook together until it becomes a thick, flavorful sauce. Cook for about 15 minutes until the mixture thickens.

Brush the aubergines with a sufficient amount of olive oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C until they start to soften about 30 minutes.
Add oil and a little water to cover the bottom of the shallow pot with a lid and arrange the aubergine halves cut side up, they should fit snugly. Sprinkle each aubergine with the tomato mixture. Close the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Serve them with lemon juice, sesame seeds and parsley.

Aubergine with kudzu can be found here

Armenia İmam bayıldı

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