I first heard about this dish in the comments section of Brett’s blog. I was intrigued by the name of the dish. So I googled and found the dish and the recipes. This Turkish dish translates as ‘The Imam fainted’. That is a pretty strong name for a dish. Either it had to be really good or really bad and I decided to try it for myself. This recipe seemed kind of authentic, and is the one I followed. I stuck close to the recipe and made only very minor changes.
To get the baby eggplants I went to our local Indian grocery store. The only other thing that needed to be bought was dill. So we made this one evening for dinner.
Baby Eggplants 4
Extra virgin olive oil 6tbsp
Onions 2 medium or one large cut into thin slices
Garlic cloves 6
Tomatoes 2 large peeled, seeded and diced
Parsley 1/4 cup chopped
Dill 2 tablespoon chopped
Lemon juice freshly squeezed 2tbsp
Water 1/4-1/2 cup
Peel the skin off the eggplant at one inch intervals.
( You can omit this step to save time. Once cooked this striped pattern is not visible,thus not adding to the visual appeal. It might help absorb the flavors better into the eggplant).
Cut the stem off and halve the eggplant.Make a deep slit lengthwise in the middle of each slice but be careful not to puncture the skin. Salt the eggplant and lay them onto paper towels for about 30min to drain the bitter juices from the eggplant.After 30min dry with paper towels.
In a large pan add 3 tablesppon of the olive oil
and fry the eggplants skinside down till it is golden brown. This takes about 4min. Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle some salt on top.
Before frying I had scooped out some of the seeds from some slices, thinking it will give more space for the filling but found that this was unnecessary.
In the same pan, add 2tbsp oil and on medium heat fry the onions and garlic, stirring frequently till it is soft. To this add the tomatoes, parsley and sugar.Give a quick stir. After about 30sec remove from fire. Transfer to a bowl and add dill and the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil. Mix well.
Take a deep casserole to cook the dish.Arrange the eggplants with slit side up and gently open the slit and fill the slit with the filling. Spread the filling to cover flesh of the eggplant too.
Sprinkle the lemon juice on top of the stuffed eggplants. If there are any remaining stuffing just spread them over the eggplant randomly. Pour the water into the dish around the eggplants. Cover and cook for about 40-50min. Check in between to see if the water had dried up and if so add more water. Serve room temperature.
We had this with chappathis and by this time we were so hungry that we skipped picturing the final dish. This dish was voted as one of the best eggplant dishes we ever made.