Imam Bayildi (version III)

6 small or 3 medium eggplants (1 1/2 pounds)
1 pound onions, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped finely
sunflower oil
1 green pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
good quality tomato juice
8 ounces tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large bunch parsley, chopped
1 large tomato, sliced

Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes Rinse and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 350. To make stuffing gently fry onions and garlic in 3 tablespoons oil until soft. Add the green pepper and tomatoes, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little sugar. Cook gently for about 15 minutes and stir in the parsley.

Quickly shallow fry the eggplants in hot oil enough to seal them, turning to brown all over. Drain on kitchen paper.

Make a deep slit along the length of the eggplant halves. Open the slit and spoon in as much stuffing as the slit will hold.

Lay the eggplant halves close to each other in a baking dish and garnish with tomato slices.

Pour in enough tomato juice to almost cover the eggplant and bake for about 45 minutes.

Serve at room temperature

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