İmam Bayildi – Stuffed Eggplant ( My mom’s special )

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After 2 months of Zurich life I came back to Istanbul for holiday.

Once I came to my mom’s house the first thing that she told me was: “Oh my god! You lots so many kilos! Didn’t you eat something in Zurich” 🙂  As all Turkish moms, my mom also found me skinny and she started to cook my favorite turkish homemade dishes from the first moment that I came home 🙂

She did so many delicious things and I take notes and will share the recipes from here 🙂

Today I would like to share one of the most  famous Turkish dish with you – my mom makes it soooo delicious- : İmam Bayildi – Stuffed Eggplants. The recipe was originally from my grandmother, I am sure you will love it and make it so often.

This dish is absolutely perfect for summer nights because you may eat it cold as well and it’s healthy vegan dish.

Ingredients for 4 person:

Cooking Time: 1 hour + 20 min for preparations

Level: Medium – for 4 person

  • 4 medium eggplants
  • 2 big tomatoes
  • 3 big onions ( here we used 7 little onions) – onions are the base of this dish so dont worry to add as much as you want!
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 table spoon of tomato paste
  • 2 cube of sugar
  • 1 tea spoon Salt ( you may add more according to your taste)
  • 6 table spoon of olive oil ( most crucial part of the recipe! Use a good olive oil)
  • 1 glass of water

imambayildi

So let’s start… First wash the eggplants and take your vegetable peeler. As keeping the heads of the eggplants, draw the peeler down over full length of the eggplant. Make only 3 stripes as on the picture below. You will have 3 white parts on your eggplant and cut (not so deeply) the white parts of the eggplant as shown on the picture below! Once you cut it, try to open your eggplant with your hands but don’t break them. 🙂

image2 Take a big bowl, put water into it and add 1 tea spoon of salt. Place your eggplants into it and make them stay during 15 mins. After 15 mins. you will see that the water will become darker and eggplants will be more delicious 🙂

image3

While you keep the eggplants inside the water you can start to chop your vegetables. Take the tomatoes and peel off its skin and cut them into small cubes. And then, cut the onions into half moons (this part is so important, don’t cut the onions into cubes!). and peel the garlic cloves but don’t cut them!

image4

Take a bowl and add tomatoes, onions and garlic cloves and then squeeze them for while. By doing this you will make the vegetables smoother and their flavors will mix.

Once it’s done, take your eggplants from the water. Squeeze them. Make sure that the water inside goes out. Then, take a big cooking pan and start to stuff the eggplants with tomato, garlic and onion mixture. When you stuff them, open your eggplants carefully with your hands and place the mixture as much as you can. See the picture below how my mom did it.

imambayildi

Once you fill all your eggplants as shown on the picture, add olive oil, water, tomato paste and sugar into the pan. Simmer the dish over very low heat and always close pan’s cover. And make sure to check liquid, if you see that after 1 h your eggplants are not cooked add more hot water. By the end of the cooking the eggplants will become caramelized and smoother. Once it’s cooked, let them to cool in the pan and serve at room temperature. To decorate you may put chopped parsley on it.

🙂 If you try it at home, don’t forget to tag it with #zuricheats hashtag!

Bon appetite!

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