Introduction: Imam Bayildi (Middle Eastern Aubergine & Tomato)

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This is one of my favourite vegetable recipes. A full flavoured but simple dish. Great as a vegetarian main meal served with some fresh white cheese (such as feta) and cous or good bread on the side. It's also a handy recipe when cooking for groups as can be made ahead and served cold.

Imam Bayildi translates into Turkish as the 'Imam fainted' - one of the stories says that this is because of the amount of olive oil that was added to the original recipe! Some recipes add up to half a pint of oil, however I have added a bit less to mine - but feel free to add more if you want. Traditional recipes often stuff the aubergine with the tomato and onion mix, however in my take on the recipe I cook all the ingredients together.

One of my food heroes is the Claudia Roden, an authority on Middle Eastern cooking. A Book of Middle Eastern Food is my 'go to' book for simple and tasty recipe inspiration. I would recommend the book highly to anyone interested in Middle Eastern flavours.

Imam Bayildi can also be served as a side dish with roast meat or as part of a large mezze platter or picnic buffet. This recipe also works well with the aubergines substituted for the same amount of courgettes - perfect for any excess courgettes you may have at the moment.
I hope you give this a try. Do you have a favourite aubergine recipe?

recipe by: De Tout Coeur Limousin

preparation time: 10 minutes

cooking time: 30-40 minutes

serves: 4 as a side dish with a main meal or more as part of a mezze or buffet


2 large aubergines chopped into chunky dice

1 kg fresh/tinned chopped tomatoes

2 large onions

1 garlic clove

salt and pepper to taste

3-4 bay leaves

bunch of parsley chopped

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Step 1: Method:

heat the oil in a pan then add your chopped aubergine, onions, garlic and bay leaves.

Step 2:

season with salt and pepper and cook over a gentle heat for about 10-15 minutes to soften.

Step 3:

add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes until reduced and the aubergine and onion are soft.

Step 4:

take off the heat and add the chopped parsley

Step 5:

serve hot or cold

Bon Appetit!

Thanks for stopping by - please leave your comments below and we always like to hear about your favourite recipes too. Do say bonjour too at De Tout Coeur Limousin and our blog for more recipes and info about what we do. We look forward to welcoming you soon :-)