Imam Baildi

Imam Baildi

When I was at the farmers market picking up the red peppers and the tomatoes for the gemista that I recently made, I could not resist picking some up some eggplants and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. Another one of the more memorable dishes that I tried in Greece was a slow roasted eggplant dish that was covered in a really simple and tasty tomato and onion sauce. Once again I was surprised that something with so few apparent ingredients could be so tasty! Not wanting the eggplant to be left out of the slow roasted vegetable fun I was planning on trying to reproduce the dish at home. I did not catch the name of the dish while I was in Greece but after a quick search I came across a recipe for imam baildi by Peter on on Kalofagas that seemed to have all the right ingredients.

The version of this dish that I had in Greece was very oily and I decided to try to cut down on the olive oil as much as possible. Normally the eggplant shells would have been fried in oil but I went with oven roasting them as I really enjoy oven roasted eggplant and it does not need a lot of oil. Other than the eggplant I used perfectly ripe field tomatoes in the sauce and I let the sauce slowly simmer until it thickened to let all of the flavours come out. The final step was to fill the eggplants with the sauce and slowly roast them in the oven until everything was nice and tender and the tomatoes on the top started to caramelize. The imam bayildi turned out really well! Everything was nice and tender and just packed full of amazing flavour. Though the photo looks a little dry, once you cut into it, all of the juices started to flow and it was actually nice and moist. I served the imam baildi with feta and some crusty bread.

I was thinking that another way to do this would be to use broiled sliced eggplant instead of the eggplant shells. I would place the eggplant slices on the bottom of a baking dish and then just cover everything with the tomato and onion sauce. I will try it this way next time and I imagine that I will need to double or triple the sauce recipe. This way should be a bit easier than having to scoop out the eggplant and use it as a shell.

Imam Baildi

Imam Baildi

Servings: 4
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 4 tomatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 green pepper (seeded and sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful parsley (chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  1. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise, scoop out the middles and chop them.
  2. Salt the eggplant shells and chopped middles and let rest in a strainer for 203-30 minutes.
  3. Roast the eggplant shells in a preheated 400F/200C oven until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse the salt from the eggplant and pat dry.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan.
  6. Add the onions and saute until the onions are tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the chopped eggplant, tomatoes, green pepper, oregano, salt and pepper and cook until the sauce thickens, about 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the sauce from the burner and stir in the parsley.
  10. Place the eggplant shells in a baking dish, fill them with the mixture and top with the sliced tomatoes and onions.
  11. Fill the dish with hot water until it goes halfway up the eggplant shells.
  12. Bake in a preheated 400F/200C oven until the water has evaporated and the tomatoes and onions are well roasted and caramelized, about 1 hour.


VeggieGirl said...

Excellent eggplant dish!

meeso said...

That really has a unique look, must be very tasty!

Jenn said...

I love how you like to explore different cuisines! :) Your food look so yum!

We Are Not Martha said...

This is so unique! It looks so pretty and sounds absolutely delicious :)


The Cooking Photographer said...

I'm drooling. Seriously. Yum!

Y said...

What a gorgeously creative dish! Great photo too :)

Cookin' Canuck said...

What a great way to use eggplant! Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables so nicely.

Jenn said...

I love roasted veggies. Looks good. I actually had some stuffed eggplants this week. ;-D

the bashful owl said...

I've always wanted to make a version of this dish, but have found the amounts of oil specified overwhelming. Thanks for your version, I will be trying it out.

Jan said...

Oooh yummy yum yum! Looks delish!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Turkish food is awesome! That dish looks so good!



Fuat Gencal said...

Yemeğiniz görünüş olarak çok güzel görünüyor ellerinize sağlık.

Katerina said...

I love your Greek food journey! And I have to say you imam baildi looks absolutely great!!!

Peter M said...

Kevin, glad you enjoyed Imam Baildi...I too made the dish lighter and no falvour was sacrificed. Thanks for the link-luv!

♥peachkins♥ said...

this is a very pretty eggplant, you know.

zerrin said...

I love imam bayildi. We also have it in Turkish cuisine and it's one of the popluar eggplant dishes here. Actually, its name and the story behind it makes me love it more. I prefer roasting it to frying just like you to avoid excessive oil. Yours look adorable. A bowl of yogurt will also be a good companion for this fantastic dish.

Elra said...

Delicious specialty. I made the Turkish version, they called it, Imam Bayildi. I guess they have many names, depending on which country.
Yours look delicious Kevin.

Joanne said...

I adore eggplant! This looks like such a simple and intuitive way to prepare it.

Cathy said...

What a wonderful fall dish. Roasting veggies is the way to go and this incorporates so much of whats available in my farmers market now.

George Gaston said...

Kevin... if looks are any indication this is a marvelous way to prepare eggplant. I am sure that the roasting method fills the kitchen with a great aroma, too. Thanks for offering a wide world of cuisine, you definitely open up dining possibilities to your readers.

Soma said...

This is a very Turkish dish & I have been seeing it around a lot. What beautiful flavors.

BTW: I made the cubed caprese, with pesto:-)

Śnieżka gotuje said...

I'am really hungry reading your blog. I love greek kitchen. It's very interesting, simple and good. Thanks for your ideas. I told my friends about your blog and they are suprised that in Canada you eat good and normal food. In Europe we have really different idea about cooking in North America :))

://: Heni ://: said...

Just found your blog - nice recipes and pix .. i am bookmarking you! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I never know what to do with eggplant, so I'm going to save this recipe. I was glad to read that the "less oily" version turned out good. Don't you love when that hapens?!

Lea Ann said...

By the way, please don't call me anonymous! I guess I hit the wrong button. Above post is from me

Fitness Foodie said...

Wonderful presentation.

Anonymous said...


this is not a greek food. it is a turkish meal. "imam bayildi" means "imam (muslim prayer leader) like it" in turkish. can you correct this?

Kevin said...

Anonymous: I have added a Turkish label to the labels on this post.

Veggie Belly said...

wow! this dish looks amazing! it also means "the imam fainted"

{lovely little things} said...

I tried this per your recipe! The flavors came together nicely, but putting the shells in water didn't work as you wrote, the water didn't evaporate...just letting you know.

Thanks for the idea!

Sevda said...

Actually, Imam Bayildi is Turkish for "the Imam fainted". It's a TURKISH dish; not Greek. :) One of my favorites... Thanks for posting.

clairdelune371 said...

Turkish food.. :P Hehe. After seeing your other eggplant posts, I feel like you must try my favorite eggplant dish, for which you can find the recipe here: I hope it interests you. It's absolutely delicious :)

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