We are back to our regular 3 days a week blogging this month. My theme for this week is ‘Eggplant Dishes‘ and if you follow my blog you know my love for eggplant and there is no way I would miss this theme. Valli gave us a list of eggplant dishes to choose from, so for the next 3 days I will be posting 3 eggplant dishes from around the world.
The baby and the big eggplants you see in the below pictures were picked fresh from the farm and the long Japanese eggplants are from my backyard garden. All these fresh eggplants were a great inspiration to cook for this theme.
First up is Imam Biyildi, a delicious Turkish dish. There are quite a few stories behind the origins of this dish: Some say the Imam swooned from delight when his wife served this to him. Others recount how he had married an olive oil heiress and thus received a liquid dowry; when he realized how much of the commodity went into her cooking, he fainted in horror 🙂 🙂
Vegetables are often prepared in this way in Turkey, slow simmered with copious amounts of olive oil, and these dishes are called zeytinagli – ‘olive oil foods’. They are usually eaten cold or at room temperature and are served as part of a summer mezze.
This is a slightly lighter version and uses much less oil. Eggplant is baked until slightly tender then stuffed with softened onions and tomatoes and then cooked till very soft. It is usually served with pita or rice.
Imam Biyaldi is a delicious Turkish eggplant dish. This is a slightly lighter version and uses much less oil. Eggplant is baked until slightly tender then stuffed with softened onions and tomatoes and then cooked till very soft. It is usually served with pita or rice.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Slit the eggplants down the middle, being careful not to cut through the skin. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20minutes until the skin starts to shrivel.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a colander with slit side down, set on a baking sheet or right in the sink. Allow to drain for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large lidded skillet and add the onions. Cook for 5~7 minutes on medium heat until the onions are tender.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Add the tomatoes, herbs, salt to taste and 1tsp sugar and 1tsp olive oil.
Turn the eggplant over and place it in the pan, cut side up. Season with salt.
Fill the slit with the onion-tomato mixture. Mix 1tsp olive oil, 1tsp sugar, 2tbsp water and 1tbsp lemon juice. Drizzle this over and around the eggplants.
Cover the pan and cook over low heat. Cook gently for about 45minutes to 1 hour, checking the pan for liquid and and basting from time to time with the liquid in the pan, and adding more water to the pan if it becomes dry.
By the end of the cooking time, the eggplants will be very soft and the liquid in the pan slightly caramelized. Allow to cool in the pan and serve at room temperature. Serve over rice or with pita.
In other good news, my blog has been included in the 'Top 50 Indian blogs' by Rebatezones.com. I'm at #37 and among the crème de la crème of Indian food bloggers. Here's a infographic for you: