Turkish İmam Bayıldı (Stuffed Eggplants)

Turkish İmam Bayıldı (Stuffed Eggplants)
Category: Main Dish

Description: İmam Bayıldı, a classic Turkish dish with a rich history, translates to "the imam fainted." Legend has it that the imam fainted from the sheer delight of tasting this delicious stuffed eggplant dish. Hailing from the southeastern region of Turkey, İmam Bayıldı is a flavorful medley of eggplants, tomatoes, and aromatic spices, creating a culinary masterpiece that has stood the test of time.


Preparation Mode:

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Wash the eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise. Score the inside of each half with a knife, creating a diamond pattern.

Sprinkle salt over the eggplants and let them sit for about 20 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic until softened. Add diced tomatoes, green bell pepper, and pine nuts, cooking until the vegetables are tender. Stir in ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, and pepper, followed by chopped parsley.

Remove the mixture from heat. Place the eggplants in a baking dish, then stuff them generously with the vegetable and spice mixture. Dilute tomato paste in hot water and pour it around the eggplants.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until the eggplants are tender. İmam Bayıldı is best served warm, allowing the flavors to meld. Enjoy this Turkish delicacy as a main course or a delightful side dish.