Imam bayildi literally means ‘the Imam fainted’ there are few folklore stories that are about this. The story I grew up with was when this man the Imam, first tried this dish he fainted as it was so good!
This is my daughters favourite dish, my husband loves it too. This time it was extra special as all the veggies used in this dish came from my garden! Including my homemade-tomato-sauce (I used 1 bag for this recipe). You can fry the eggplant, or bake them which ever you prefer.
I love Sicilian eggplant, I go out to the farm in the fall and get a huge bushel of them, I prepare them by slicing, baking and freezing them and then I can make this all winter long.
If you have small eggplants and wish to stuff them then you can follow this recipe imam-bayildi. You can make this with out meat and just use veggies if you like.
What you will need:
- 2 medium size eggplants
- 3-4 tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 Cubanelle or banana pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp tomato paste ( I use Alpino its in a tube)
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper
Slice eggplant and either fry or bake with a drizzle of olive oil and salt in the oven at 400 till softened and browned. While that is baking start on the filling. If you choose to pan fry the eggplant (which tastes amazing) once they are browned,lay them on some paper towel to soak up the oil .
Chop onion, peppers, one tomato,and garlic. Saute the onion, pepper till softens, add in the garlic and tomato then add the meat and break up with wooden spoon,add in the tomato paste, and the seasonings listed above, I gave approx amounts you can taste and adjust seasonings, these are just the seasonings I personally like to add to it.
First spoon over some tomato sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish and layer with the eggplant and meat as shown in the pictures below. Top with 2-3 sliced tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 for about an 1 hour and 1/2 check on it as every oven is different.