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Imam Bayıldı Recipe

Imam bayıldı is a classic Ottoman dish. If you're looking for a vegetarian or vegan stuffed aubergine recipe, this recipe is not going to disappoint.
Course Main
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 360kcal
Author Turkey's For Life


  • 4 medium sized aubergines
  • 2 large onions peeled, halved & sliced into half moons
  • 2 large tomatoes or 1x400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper deseeded & cut into thin strips approx 1 inch long
  • 1 green pointed pepper deseeded & cut into thin strips (optional)
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp tomato paste or red pepper paste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 1 handful parsley finely chopped, to garnish
  • 1 lemon juiced, to garnish
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil for frying aubergines
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking your filling


  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel stripes down your aubergines.
  • Now take a sharp knife and make a cut from the top to the bottom of each aubergine without piercing through to the other side.
  • Gently heat your sunflower oil in a frying pan and add the aubergines.
  • Turn them occasionally with tongs so that they brown and soften on all sides. Be careful as they will spit and sizzle in the hot oil.
  • Once your aubergines have softened after about 15 minutes, remove them from the pan and place on a baking tray with the side where you made the cut facing upwards.
  • Leave to one side to cool.
  • In the same pan, add your olive oil and gently heat.
  • Add your sliced onions and peppers and sauté until the onions start to soften and turn translucent.
  • Now add your chopped tomatoes, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper and mix together.
  • Add a splash of water - about 50 mls - stir and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Meanwhile return to your aubergines and carefully prise them open along the cut so that you have four canoe shapes.
  • Now add your filling to each aubergine with a teaspoon - don't worry if some tumbles over the edge. It's all part of the meal.
  • Dissolve your tomato paste (salça) into approx 150 mls of water and pour it over your aubergines and into the tray.
  • Now place on the middle shelf of your oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and leave until your imam bayıldı is warm or at room temperature.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice and sprinkle a little finely chopped parsley over the top of your imam bayıldı before serving.
  • Serve on its own or with accompaniments.


  • Our recipe for imam bayıldı contains peppers. Some recipes use onions and tomatoes only. We use one red carmen pepper and one green 'sivri biber.'
  • You can use as much or as little garlic as you like.
  • Imam bayıldı is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
  • As with all of our recipes, the calories in our imam bayıldı recipe are approximate. There are approximately 360 calories per aubergine serving, taking into account the oil used for frying.