THE IMAM FAINTED (IMAM BAYILDI)

SERVES 4

Ingredients:

• 2 medium eggplants
• 2 medium onions, diced
• ½ cup of olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
• 3 tbsp chopped parsley
• salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tsp sugar
• 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup of water

Method:

1. Use a vegetable peeler to make zebra-like stripes about an inch apart on the eggplants. Then cut each eggplant in half lengthwise and sprinkle with salt to extract the bitter juices. Set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan. Cook the onions and garlic over a medium flame until translucent and softened. Add the tomatoes and let them cook down for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Set to one side.

3. Take the salted eggplants, rinse and pat dry. Cut side up, place in a baking tray. Top each half with the onion and tomato mixture. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the eggplants. Pour the cup of water into the base of the baking tray in order to keep everything moist. Cover the tray with foil and place in the oven.

4. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180C. Cook for 40 – 50 minutes, until the eggplant is tender.

Best served at room temperature, with a dollop of yoghurt.