Imam Bayildi (fainted priest): braised eggplant stuffed with onion, garlic and tomatoes
( SERVES 6 )
Imam Bayildi means the swooning or fainted priest. This Turkish dish is made from braised eggplant with onion, garlic, tomatoes and spices and herbs.
|2½||Eggplants, 2 eggplants cut into 3-4 discs, the additional half diced|
|100 ml||Olive oil|
|1||Onion, finely chopped|
|7||Whole peeled tomatoes, chopped|
|4||Garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|1 pinch||Ground cloves|
|½ tsp||Ground cinnamon|
|20 g||Brown sugar|
|1 Tbsp||Fresh coriander|
|1 Tbsp||Fresh mint|
|½ tsp||Cumin seeds|
- With a melon baller, scoop out the flesh of the eggplant discs to create shells. Reserve the flesh. Salt shells and leave upside down to drain for 30 minutes, rinse and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 180C. In a saute pan, heat olive oil and cook onion until soft and golden, add reserved and diced eggplant flesh plus garlic. Saute until soft. Add tomatoes, currants, spices, sugar and herbs, simmer for 10 minutes.
- Compact the filling inside the shells, brushing surface with olive oil. Line the bottom of a baking dish with non-stick paper and grease the sides. Pour boiling water mixed with a little lemon juice to barely cover the eggplant and bake for 40 minutes until soft but the shells are still rigid.