Let me show you around! Second, the relative amounts of onions to tomato. Another suggests it wasn’t the taste that cause the imam to lose his consciousness, but the thought of the cost of the olive oil that had gone into making the dish. As with most dishes in Western Turkish cuisine, spices more commonly used in the Middle East or Greece are not used. Fit the aubergines into a baking tray (slit side up) and pre-bake them for 30 minutes. The 12 bottles of beautiful olive oil were all empty. You don’t want anything to overpower such a delicate and beautiful dish! Not all of them are equally authentic. Mix the tomato paste, sugar and boiling water with a little salt and pepper. It is known across much of the former empirical lands of the Ottomans, notably also in Greece. (. Required fields are marked *. This is because the small purple eggplants are split down the middle and stuffed with beef mince and aromatic spices. On the first night, the imam asked his wife to make something delicious using some of the olive oil her father had gifted them. Nothing was left. Add the stuffing into the aubergines and place them, stuffed side up, in a pan for which you have a lid. It can be served as one of several dishes for a meze style meal, as a vegetarian/vegan main course, or even alongside meat or fish, if you like. For the past few years, I’ve been exploring the foods of Turkey, the Middle East and beyond from my house in Balat, Istanbul. In Turkey, we use long thin peppers known as sivri biber (pointed peppers). Perhaps the most delicious thing you can do to the mighty aubergine. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. İmam bayıldı, literally “the imam fainted”*, likely hails from the Aegean coast. In which case it may be worth halving the aubergine rather than stuffing it like a baguette, as the recipe below suggests. Get delicious recipes & fascinating stories from the heart of Istanbul in my fortnightly newsletter. She went on to make a delicious dish of aubergines stuffed with onions and tomatoes. Stir in your salça, remove from the heat and place to one side. Give it all a stir and saute until the meat is browned (around 10 minutes). The low, slow braise in plenty of olive oil is part of what makes the dish so special. If you google imam bayıldı, the internet offers a huge number of recipes. Das Hackfleisch mit Salz und Pfeffer würzen und … Upon hearing the exlusive dowry had already been spent, the imam was so shocked he fainted on the spot. Place sliced tomato over the top of the meat and lay your green pepper over the top. Add the tomatoes and Aleppo pepper (if using). Make a lengthwise incision in the aubergines, as if opening a baguette, leaving 2 cm at either end. Karniyarik; Stuffed eggplants with ground meat, onion, tomatoes. That said, different types of aubergines don’t have wildly different flavour, so if a big one is all you’ve got, that’ll do too. Privacy Policy, Cookies Notice & Disclaimer, 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped, 3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or finely chopped, 4 cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato, sliced, 1 dessert spoonful salça (tomato paste or red pepper paste) plus 1 tsp for the oven, later, 5 tbsp sunflower oil - 1 for cooking for your meat and 4 for your aubergines, Handful fresh chopped parsley (to garnish). They're called carliston peppers. See our Privacy Policy to learn more about the use of data and your rights. Leave the stems at the top. Or was it in shock? Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and fry the aubergines until they start to soften, turning regularly. If you can't get those for your stuffed aubergine, you can use strips of any type of green capsicum. Finally, the absence of any spices. Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil on medium heat, in a large frying pan or casserole dish, and fry the onions and capsicums (bell peppers) for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 387. I wouldn’t serve it with anything too spiced or spicy. My favourite tells the story of an imam who married the daughter of an olive oil merchant. Serves 2-6, depending what else you offer up alongside. We use cookies and other technologies to customise your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalised advertising on our website based on your interests. If you like aubergines, I promise you it’s time well spent. A well-known version suggests the imam fainted in delight over the delicious meal his wife had cooked for him. The imam loved the dish so much, he demanded it be part of dinner every single day. Karnıyarık – A Classic Turkish Stuffed Aubergine Recipe, Karnıyarık & Stuffed Aubergine Afternotes. The name literally translates to ‘split belly’ or ‘riven belly’. Take your aubergines and peel stripes off them. Who knows…. Now stuff your aubergines with the meat filling. I'm Vidar, the author of this blog. Heat a thick bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Leave to simmer until the aubergines are completely soft, around 45 minutes. It is best to use long, thin aubergines. Preheat the oven to 230 º C / 450 º F. Using a sharp knife, make deep slits in the aubergines, lengthwise (be careful not to pierce them all the way to the bottom). Get free recipes & stories from my kitchen in Istanbul. Alternatively, roast in a preheated oven at 200 C (390 F) until starting to soften, around 20 minutes.