Imam Bayildì


Imam Bayildi.JPG

Η συνταγή και στα ελληνικά στο τέλος της ανάρτησης!

After World War I, Greece was given the command of the cities in the coastal area of Turkey towards the Aegean Sea. Turkey have never accepted that decision and started guerilla tactics against Greek army. Kemal Atatürk the leader of the Turkish National Movement managed to secretly make agreements with the previous allies of Greece and supplied his army with guns. After several Greek diplomatic mistakes and the empowerment of Turkish army, Greece lost the war and had to retreat with heavy casualties.
Before the war about 2,000,000 Greeks were living in the coastal area of Turkey. Because of the war and the consequent defeat, 25,000 Greek soldiers and 600,000 civilians were killed. Also, 1,500,000 citizens had to abandon their homes and country and come as refugees to Greece.
Those people came here homeless, penniless and devastated. The Greek government gave them homes to live and they tried to start their lives all over again. Along with them, they brought their rich culture i.e. their customs, their mentality and their eating habits. Those people enriched the local range of food enormously and their meals became part of what we call today Greek kitchen.

Imam Bayildi.JPG
My maternal grandparents and their families were among those people who came to Greece as refugees. I always remember them with love and affection talking about the lost countries. My grandmother was from Cappadocia and she was an excellent cook. She brought with her all local eating habits and food which were so much influenced by the Middle Eastern way of cooking. Every time we were visiting, she was having a delicious meal to treat us us and the moment you entered their house the smells of several dishes cooking on the stove or in the oven were welcoming you.

Imam Bayildi.JPG

Imam Bayildì is such a dish. The story says that the Imam (the Muslim priest) ate so much of it, that he fainted. Indeed, the original version of this food calls for the eggplants to be fried. Also, the onions and garlic must be sautéed in the same oil the eggplants were fried. You can understand that cooking it this way would be not only a calorie’s dynamite, but also a very heavy meal. No wonder why the Imam has fainted.

So, taking into consideration the modern way of living and our completely different needs food wise, I opted to lighten it up and adapt it to our taste palate. Instead of frying the eggplants, I baked them. Instead of sautéing the onions and garlics at the same oil, I used brand new olive oil and only couple of tablespoons. It was a delicious meal and despite all these compromises I made, I think it was even better than the original one.

By the moment you will be reading this post, I will be away for my yearly pilgrimage to my father’s village. I apologize as I will not be able to visit your delicious blogs this and the coming week, but I promise, promise I will catch up in no time once I get back from holidays. This along with next Monday’s post are scheduled to go live while I will be absent. I will see you all in two weeks. And I will bring as many photos as I can! Take care!

Imam Bayildi.JPG

Imam Bayildì

Ingredients
6 small eggplants
3 onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup water
2 tsp double concentrated tomato paste
¾ cup tomato juice
2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp sugar
1 cup grated cheese
6 tsp breadcrumbs, one for each eggplant
Pepper

Imam Bayildi.JPG

Instructions
Take a deep pot fill couple of inches above half of it with water and add about 3 tbsp of salt.
Cut the stems of the eggplants and then cut them lengthwise, paying attention not to cut them completely leaving less than an inch uncut.
Put the eggplants in the salted water and let them stay for half an hour.
Remove, wash them thoroughly and wipe them.
Preheat oven to 175° C / 350° F.
Brush them with olive oil, salt them with the 1 tsp of salt and place them in a baking sheet with their cut sides up.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove and put aside.

Imam Bayildi.JPG

For the Sauce
In the meantime make the sauce.
In a pan pour about 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions in medium heat until they start to soften.
Add the garlic and continue to sauté for one minute.
Pour the double concentrated tomato paste dissolved in the ½ cup of water.
Add the tomato juice and all herbs and spices, salt/pepper and sugar and simmer in medium/low heat for as long as the eggplants are in the oven.

Imam Bayildi.JPG

Assembly
After baking them the eggplants will be as an open book.
Take each one of them and fill it with the sauce.
Add some cheese on top of the tomato and 1 tsp of breadcrumbs on top of the cheese.
Place them again in the oven and bake them for another 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve them with Greek yogurt adding to it minced garlic.

Imam Bayildi.JPG

5.0 from 10 reviews
Imam Bayildì
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Greek
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 6 small eggplants
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • ¾ cup tomato juice
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 6 tsp breadcrumbs, one for each eggplant
  • Pepper
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Take a deep pot fill couple of inches above half of it with water and add about 3 tbsp of salt.
  2. Cut the stems of the eggplants and then cut them lengthwise, paying attention not to cut them completely leaving less than an inch uncut.
  3. Put the eggplants in the salted water and let them stay for half an hour.
  4. Remove, wash them thoroughly and wipe them.
  5. Preheat oven to 175° C / 350° F.
  6. Brush them with olive oil, salt them with the 1 tsp of salt and place them in a baking sheet with their cut sides up.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove and put aside.
For the Sauce
  1. In the meantime make the sauce.
  2. In a pan pour about 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions in medium heat until they start to soften.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for one minute.
  4. Pour the double concentrated tomato paste dissolved in the ½ cup of water.
  5. Add the tomato juice and all herbs, salt/pepper and spices and sugar and simmer in medium/low heat for as long as the eggplants are in the oven.
Assembly
  1. After baking them the eggplants will be as an open book.
  2. Take each one of them and fill it with the sauce.
  3. Add some cheese on top of the tomato and 1 tsp of breadcrumbs on top of the cheese.
  4. Place them again in the oven and bake them for another 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Serve them with Greek yogurt adding to it some minced garlic.

5.0 from 10 reviews
Ιμάμ Μπαΐλντί
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Ελληνική
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 6 μικρές μελιτζάνες
  • 3 κρεμμύδια, κομμένα σε φέτες
  • 3 σκελίδες σκόρδο, λιωμένες
  • ½ φλ. νερό
  • 2 κ.σ. πάστα ντομάτας
  • ¾ φλ. χυμό ντομάτας
  • 2 κ.γ. αλάτι
  • 1 κ.γ. αποξηραμένο βασιλικό
  • ½ κ.γ. αποξηραμένα ρίγανη
  • ¼ κ.γ. αποξηραμένο θυμάρι
  • ¼ κ.γ. κανέλα
  • ¼ κ.γ. μοσχοκάρυδο
  • 2 κ.γ. ζάχαρη
  • 1 φλ. τριμμένο τυρί
  • 6 κ.γ. τριμμένη φρυγανιά ένα για κάθε μελιτζάνα
  • Πιπέρι
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Πάρτε μία κατσαρόλα, γεμίστε τη με νερό και προσθέστε περίπου 3 κουταλιές της σούπας αλάτι.
  2. Κόψτε τα κοτσάνια από τις μελιτζάνες και κόψτε τις κατά μήκος, δίνοντας προσοχή να μην τις κόψετε μέχρι κάτω.
  3. Βάλτε τις μελιτζάνες στο αλατισμένο νερό και αφήστε τις για μισή ώρα.
  4. Βγάλτε τις, πλύνετέ τις καλά και σκουπίστε τις.
  5. Προθερμάνετε το φούρνο στους 175° C.
  6. Αλείψτε τις με λάδι, αλατίστε τις με το 1 κουταλάκι του γλυκού αλάτι και τοποθετήστε τις σε ένα ταψί στο οποίο έχετε στρώσει χαρτί ψησίματος με τις κομμένες πλευρές να βλέπουν προς τα πάνω.
  7. Ψήστε για 30 λεπτά.
  8. Αφαιρέστε τις και βάλτε τις στην άκρη.
Για τη Σάλτσα
  1. Εν τω μεταξύ κάντε τη σάλτσα.
  2. Σε ένα τηγάνι ρίξτε περίπου 3 κουταλιές της σούπας ελαιόλαδο και σοτάρετε το κρεμμύδι σε μέτρια φωτιά μέχρι να μαλακώσει.
  3. Προσθέστε το σκόρδο και συνεχίστε να σοτάρετε για ένα λεπτό.
  4. Ρίξτε την πάστα ντομάτας (τοματοπελτέ) διαλυμένη στο ½ φλιτζάνι νερό.
  5. Προσθέστε το χυμό ντομάτας και όλα τα αρωματικά, αλάτι, μπαχαρικά και τη ζάχαρη και σιγοβράστε σε μεσαία/χαμηλή θερμότητα για όσο διάστημα έχετε τις μελιτζάνες στο φούρνο.
  6. Γέμισμα
  7. Μετά το ψήσιμό τους οι μελιτζάνες θα είναι σαν ένα ανοιχτό βιβλίο.
  8. Πάρτε κάθε μία από αυτές, και γεμίστε τη με τη σάλτσα.
  9. Προσθέστε λίγο τυρί πάνω από την ντομάτα και 1 κουταλάκι τριμμένη φρυγανιά πάνω από το τυρί.
  10. Τοποθετήστε ξανά στο φούρνο και ψήστε για άλλα 35 έως 40 λεπτά.
  11. Σερβίρετε με γιαούρτι αρωματισμένο με σκόρδο.

It was featured in
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

32 Responses to Imam Bayildì

    1
  1. Hadia says:

    I HAVE HEARD ALOT ABOUT THIS DISH Katerina AND I AM GLAD TO LEARN ABOUT IT THROUGH YOUR BLOG. LOVE YOUR CLEAR STEP BY STEP RECIPES

  2. 2
  3. Balvinder says:

    love eggplants and you have shared a wonderful recipe!

  4. 3
  5. What a captivating story and as always a beautiful recipe and blog post! I have enjoyed this dish a few times at our local Greek restaurant but no doubt yours is more authentic. Well done!

  6. 4
  7. Miz Helen says:

    Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Have a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Miz Helen

  8. 5
  9. Wow. A history lesson and a great meal! Thanks so much for visiting Two Cup Tuesday and sharing this recipe. I’ve pinned it. I wish you safe travels.

  10. 6
  11. Awww, such a sweet story!
    I will definitely have to try this recipe, sounds divine!

  12. 7
  13. What an amazing look back at history and culture and insight into your heritage as well. This dish looks so flavorful and delicious too.
    On behalf of Lisa, Cindy & myself, thanks so much for sharing this at our “Best Of The Weekend party”! I am pinning this to our party board and another big board too.
    We hope to see you again when the party kicks off again Friday eve at 8PM EST.
    Have a great week!
    xoxo

  14. 8
  15. Wow, I grew up eating this dish and haven’t thought about it for years! Looks so delicious! I love the way you make this. My grandmother always cut the eggplant in chunks, but this is a very nice variation. I will have to make some soon! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Healthy & looks delicious! Thanks for sharing at Sweet & Savory Saturdays #25!

    ~Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later!
    http://www.dessertnowdinnerlater.com

  18. 10
  19. noel says:

    this looks delicious, in fact I think I’m making it tonight for a True Blood party tonight, thanks for sharing.

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  21. Jojo says:

    It’s so nice to read your post! I visited Turkey in 2002 and Cappadocia was my favorite memory. It’s such a beautiful area and the people were so warm and embracing.

    Eggplant in any dish is delicious and I can’t wait to try this one.

  22. 12
  23. Both the story and the recipe are incredible, and I can’t wait to try the eggplant. New follower!

  24. 13
  25. Kenneth Kapasi says:

    Love the story and can relate to it .Also love this recipe.Keep up the good work never let the tradition fall.

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  27. Sissi says:

    Wow! I have almost missed these beautiful aubergines! I am a huge fan of aubergine and since I discovered many fat-soaked recipes can be tweaked to lighter versions, I cook this beautiful vegetable even more often. I have heard about this dish quite often, but never tried making it because it was so fatty… Your version is so clever! Thank you for one more inspiration.

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  29. I came on over from Uru’s blog to visit your delicious site. I love this recipe and I adore eggplants so can’t wait to give this recipe a try. Have a super holiday and looking forward to catching up upon your return. Take Care, BAM

  30. 16
  31. Tina says:

    Hi there…I haven’t been off visiting in a while. I know I can always get a good meal at your place :-)
    That is a very moving story and I thank you for sharing it. Can not imagine what I would do or how I would cope facing homelessness, hunger, the stress of being collateral damage from war.

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  33. cquek says:

    I will have to give it a go.

  34. 18
  35. Claire Davis says:

    a beautiful story about your grandmother and a beautiful dish! have a wonderful trip!

  36. 19
  37. Another great post, love the food history behind your dishes. Lovely clicks & great looking dish, with a healthy alternative. Have a great time, Katerina!

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  39. Louise says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your family history with us and your grandmother’s treasured recipe, Katerina. I have saved this recipe for “some day.”

    Wishing you a wonderful time while visiting your father’s village. Thank you again, Katerina.

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  41. Susan says:

    Such an interesting but sad story that affect so many, including your grandparents! What a wonderful way to enjoy eggplant and I love that the recipe came from your grandmother :)

    Have a wonderful trip!

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  43. A beautiful stuffed eggplant dish, Katerina. It looks very tasty and healthful.

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  45. Juliana says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this post Katerina…it is always nice to learn history…especially when is so close to people that we know.
    I never heard of this dish…but I know I will like it…I love eggplants dishes :)
    Have a great week ahead my dear!

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  47. mjskit says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this memorable family recipe! What a story! Thanks so much for sharing the story and the recipe. It looks very Greek (from what I know of Greek food anyway) and quite delicious. Hope you having a wonderful and peaceful pilgrimage.

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  49. Υπέροχο πιάτο Κατερίνα!
    Έχω πάρα πολύ καιρό να το φάω και βλέποντας τις φωτογραφίες σου συνειδητοποιώ πόσο πολύ το έχω λαχταρήσει.
    Πολύ καλοκαιρινό φαγάκι!
    Φιλιά

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  51. Kate says:

    There’s such historical tension between the countries in your area, which is interesting because of the food overlaps!

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  53. This was an interesting lesson. I should make it as a homework now :)

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  55. absolutely drool worthy, we love eggplants and this dish is our new favorite after viewing you gorgeous clicks,yummm :-)

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  57. Faith says:

    What a beautiful post, Katerina, rich in delicious food and history too. I loved reading about your country’s past and your family’s history as well.

    This dish is one of my favorite ways to enjoy eggplant. Your recipe looks wonderful and it’s so different from the version I had in the Middle East – I can’t wait to try it!

    I hope you have a wonderful time visiting your father’s village! Safe travels, my friend.

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  59. Magda says:

    Πω πω ομορφιές! Από τα αγαπημένα μου φαγητά και κλασικά στο σπίτι μας. Το έφτιαξες υπέροχα Κατερίνα. Φαίνεται τόσο λαχταριστό!!

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  61. Beth says:

    What a tragic loss of so many lives. And it’s hard to believe that a million and a half Greeks had to return from Turkey. It’s just a sad story all the way around. You have told me before about your maternal grandparents being affected by this, so you have first-hand knowledge of how difficult it must have been to acclimatize to their “new” country. The only consolation is the wonderful traditions and recipes that they brought back with them – this recipe definitely being one of them. Your Imam Bayildi looks delightful.

    Enjoy your holiday!

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  63. Jeannie says:

    This is one historic dish and sure looks delicious! Love the healthy improvised way that you cook it:)

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