Imam Bayildi - Middle Eastern inspired aubergine & tomato stew

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imam bayildi (Middle Easter inspired aubergine and tomato stew)

Imam Bayildi - Middle Eastern inspired aubergine & tomato stew

Imam bayildi 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 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.    

Front Cover
A Book of Middle Eastern Food

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:  Ema at 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


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

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

add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened the aubergine and onion are soft.  

take off the heat and add the chopped parsley

serve hot or cold
Bon Appetit!

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  1. I don't have too many eggplant recipes I make frequently, but it's a wonderful veg and perfect for those meatless days. I never feel like I'm really missing meat when I have a bit of eggplant. And tomatoes add to that sense of meatiness...

    1. You don't miss meat with a dish like this, that's for sure. Eggplant/aubergine is lovely griddled too or made into a smoky dip (Baba ghanoush). Thanks for stopping by :-)

  2. I love aubergines in fact I cook them almost every week. I often make a pasta sauce with them but I love them also fried or grilled over a griddle pan. This recipe is really interesting, bookmarking!
    Thank you for linking to Credit Crunch Munch!

    1. Would love to see your aubergine pasta sauce recipe...? They are delicious and so good for you too. Thanks for hosting too #creditcrunchmunch

  3. Delicious. I buy 4 aubergines for £1 in the market. such a bargain.

    Thank you for sending to Credit Crunch Munch

    1. That's a great bargain. Thanks for stopping by too :)

  4. Sounds delish, and there's nothing wrong with an amount of olive oil to make you faint! LOVE it, probably more than I should, especially with aubergines. Thanks for linking up to Family Foodies

    1. A perfect combination with aubergines - a slow cook with olive oil definitely improves them. Thanks so much for your comments and for hosting too :)


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