Priest fainted or Imam’s delight (Imam bayildi)
( Priest fainted or Imam’s delight ) Eggplant in olive oil
This eggplant dish has an interesting name which deserves attention. In the early days of the Turkish history, Muslim priest ( imams ) played a very important role in the society. Whenever there was a wedding, funeral or a circumcision ceremony, they were the first to be invited. At the banquet table, they were the first tasters of food to judge if it was well done. If they liked, they expressed their appreciation by saying “I am overwhelmed!” or “I fainted on it!”. It is a Turkish idiomatic saying which means that they liked it very much. Therefore the name of the dish is priest fainted or imam’s delight… Well, let’s get to dish.
- 5 medium size eggplants
- 5 medium size onions
- 2 large tomatoes
- 7 cloves of garlic
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 glass olive oil
- Chopped parsley
Cut the onions and garlic lengthwise into very fine slices and brown them in olive oil. Add peeled tomatoes and copped parsley. Sprinkle salt and sugar over the mixture.
Remove the stems of eggplants leaving 2 cm remaining. Peel them in lengthwise stripes.
Make a deep lengthwise incision with a knife. Put them in salty water for 20 minutes to prevent them from absorbing too much oil. Drain the eggplants. Fry them in olive oil until they are lightly brown on all sides. Then place eggplants side by side in a flat pan.
Split the eggplants in the middle and stuff it with onions, tomatoes and chopped parsley mixture.
Pour the remaining olive oil and water. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
From “A tour guide’s diary”
192 pages Turkish Cuisine book by Revak
English, French, German, Dutch, Italian