Jul 9, 2010

Imam Bayildi - Fainted Priest ....

Cooking - is it an art or a science?... To me it is certainly a science . I envy people who walk in to the kitchen without any plan and just throw in things and dish up a sumptuous meal. Though i love cooking i am definitely not a natural at it.. I need my measuring cups and spoons and scale and what not. Give me a recipe and i will follow it to the tee..I am not a creative cook yet.

During my stay in Istanbul this was one dish that i never failed to order..... I had this everyday. This dish is called 'Imam Bayildi' which translates to The Priest fainted'..There are several apocryphal stories about the origins of the dish. The imam (Muslim priest) fainted or swooned when he tasted how good it was. I did too!!!

This is a simple eggplant dish which is cooked in loads of olive oil , slashed in the middle and stuffed with tomatoes onion, garlic, parsley and dill.

you will need :

5 purple medium sized aubergines

Salt to taste

10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium-size onions, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced

6 large garlic cloves, chopped

4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

Juice of one tomato/ half cup tomato juice

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup water

Heat about 5 tbsp 0f oil and fry the aubergine for about 5 Min's while turning them frequently ensuring not to burn them.

Now arrange the aubergines in an oven proof dish.
With the help of a fork and knife gently slash the belly of the aubergine and split it open making sure not to cut them to the end.

To make the filling :
In the same skillet you cooked the eggplant, add the remaining oil and heat over medium-high heat, then cook the onion and garlic until soft, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn. Add the chopped tomato , parsley , dill and sugar . Half way through add 1/2 cup water and cook till done.

Spoon in as much filling as you can in the split aubergine halves.

Now mix lemon juice, tomato juice 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp sugar separately and pour it over the stuffed aubergines.

Put it in moderate oven (180) for 40 Min's . Garnish with parsley.

Serve it with plain buttered rice and Greek yogurt.

Verdict :
1. Please dont go by the pictures. They dont do justice to this utterly melting deliciousness. I guess some dishes are not photogenic.
2. The almost creamy aubergine with the falvourful tomato sauce is divine.
You may also add currants and pine nuts to the filling for a sweeter and nuttier version.
Meat lovers can add minced meat for the filling.


Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Wow, it looks amazing and mouth watering !!!

Pari said...

Hi Dear. The fainted priest looks too good to resist, so flavourful.

Priya said...

Name itself sounds interesting, beautiful dish..

Sweet Artichoke said...

Hi there!
First time on your blog, too! A great discovery, indeed! Awesome dish and no wonder the iman fainted!! It is so delicious! Your pictures from Turkey are very beautiful, too!

Mina Joshi said...


Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments.

I love this new dish using aubergines. It looks delicious. I like the step by step pictures too. It gives me the confidence to try out a dish. I will certainly give it a try.

Sandhya Hariharan said...

Thanks Nandhini for dropping by!!
I m loving ur space...
FInished the aubergine post.. and landed to the TUrkey one.. Cudnt get my eyes of the choco chip muffin ..!!!
Great work!!

Umm Mymoonah said...

Wow! That avery nice dish, heard about this dish but never tried. Will definitely try your recipe.
The Turkey pictures are simply amazing, that is one place which i wanted to visit for a long time.
You seemed to have a lot of interesting posts, will keep coming back, following you:-)

Sarah Naveen said...

nice clicks..looks super yummy!!!

bellini valli said...

I could easily have this every day:D

SE said...

Amazing dish and clicks too !! Hey thanks for stopping by at my blog and for your wonderful comments !

You know what,when i started the blog, using cups and measurements seemed to be difficult, cos I am used to throw in stuff to make the recipes ! You are great at it, good going !

Gulmohar said...

Awesome !! Interesting name too..

Veggie Belly said...

Love the step by step pics!

Fathima said...

that is a nice dish and a new one for me! nice step by step pics!

Sophie said...

A divine filled aubergine dish!!

Stunning colours & tasty flavours!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, what a delicious dish! I love Turkish food.



Biren said...

This dish looks and sounds awesome! It must be packed with flavor.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment :)

Gulmohar said...

That's something new for me...interesting name too

Babli said...

Brinjal dish looks mouth watering and delicious. I appreciate for your wonderful presentation with step by step tempting pictures.

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

Are those Indian eggplants? They are so cute. I've seen those at Asian grocery. The dish looks flavorful!

To answer for you question about panko. Yes you can use breadcrumb but it won't be that crunchy. However, it works just fine. Thanks for visiting my blog!

janet said...

This is making me drool... yum!
Thank you for sharing it with AWED-Turkey. :)

fresh365 said...

Oh wow does this look good! I will have to get my hands on some small aubergines as I love all the flavors here!