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Imam Bayildi (Turkish stuffed aubergines)


Recipe Name:  Imam Bayildi (Turkish stuffed aubergines) recipe with instructions for Aga range cookers


Meal Type: Breakfast
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes 

Servings: 4


This is our version of a traditional Turkish dish – Imam Bayildi translates at ‘the Imam fainted’ as apparently when it was first created, it was so delicious that it caused the priest to faint!

The aubergines are first fried in olive oil before being stuffed with a flavoursome tomato sauce and baked in the roasting oven. To skin tomatoes make a cross in the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife and place in a heatproof jug or bowl. Pour on boiling water and leave for a minute. Drain and you will find the skins slip off very easily!

You'll need...


  • 2 aubergines
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 8 tomatoes
  • handful chopped parsley
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • Method:

    1. Pre-heat the frying pan by placing on the floor of the roasting oven whilst you prepare the aubergines. Slice aubergines in half lengthways, slicing right through the stalk (which should remain attached). Add the olive oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat. Place the aubergine halves cut-side down into the pan and fry for approximately 8 minutes until the flesh is bronzed and softened. Turn the aubergines over and fry for a further 8 minutes on the other side. Check occasionally – you don’t want the aubergines to blacken.

    2. Whilst the aubergines are cooking, prepare the tomatoes. First, remove the skins (see tip). Cut out the stalk/core area and roughly dice.

    3. Once the aubergines are ready, remove them to a dish lined with some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Now use the pan to make the sauce.

    4. Add a little more oil to the pan if required and gently sweat the onions and peppers. You can do this on the simmering plate or start on the simmering plate, add a lid and transfer to the simmering oven for ten minutes where they will soften nicely without colouring.

    5. With the pan on the simmering plate, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Next stir in the spices and cook for a further minute before adding the tomatoes, parsley, pinch of sugar and plenty of salt and pepper. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes until the sauce is quite thick

    6. Place the aubergines in a large baking dish and slash the centres with a sharp knife. Using the back of a spoon, push the flesh back to the edges so that you are left with a big dip in the centre of each half. Spoon in generous quantities of the tomato sauce – pile it high!

    7. Bake the stuffed aubergines on a grid shelf on the bottom runners in the roasting oven for 30 minutes.

    8. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm with a green salad and perhaps some rice or bread.

    Aga range cooker tips:

    • You can fry the aubergines on the hot plates but the oil does splatter everywhere. I prefer to do this in the oven – any splatters will be out of sight and burn off quickly! You also preserve heat this way – important if you have a traditional model of Aga.


    This fun family recipe has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out! She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds. 

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