Imam Bayildi

The name of this Turkish meal literally means “the imam swooned”. No one knows who was that imam and why he swooned, but many think the reason was the beauty of this meal and the harmony of its tastes. Other say he fainted upon hearing the cost of the ingredients! One thing is sure, he didn’t swoon from hunger!


  • 4 eggplants
  • 2 onions
  • 200 g of peeled tomatoes
  • 1 bunch parsley leaves
  • 4 sweet peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Wash the eggplants and don’t remove the stem. With a peeler, peel the eggplants so they get a “zebra” look and slit with a knife at one part and make a hole that looks like a pocket (see the picture below). Prepared eggplants put in the water for some time.

Chop the onion. Use only few parsley leaves and chop them and leave the rest of the leaves for later. Cut peppers to length and remove the seeds. Chop the garlic. Now take the eggplants out of water, drain and dry with a clean dish towel.

In a frying pan pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil and fry eggplants (make sure they are fried well from every side). When it’s done, take a pan and pour ½ liter of water and put the fried eggplants in, but be sure the holes (pockets) are not covered with water. Use frying pan again and pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry chopped onion. Then remove the frying pan from the burner and add peeled tomatoes, chopped parsley leaves, salt and sugar. Mix well and you got a nice sauce.

Now use this sauce to fill eggplants (that still stay in the pan with ½ liter of water) by pouring the sauce in the holes you made. Add a bit of garlic, and decorate with slices of sweet pepper and few slices of fresh onion. It should look like this:

Now cover the pan and cook at medium temperature for more than 30 minutes. When the meal is cooked, leave it in the pan until its cool.

Serve decorated with few parsley leaves. Bon appetit!