Imam Bayildi (Eggplants Stuffed with Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes and Parsley)


Courtesy of Elif Selvili

The name of this vegan dish translates to “The Holy Man Has Fainted.” It is served at room temperature, which makes it ideal for preparing in advance.

Note: Cooking egglants by direct heat method on hot coals
In order to cook food directly on hot coals, you should use either wood or natural lump charcoal, made with only pure hardwood. It burns hotter and faster than compressed briquettes, making it ideal for direct-heat cooking. Use a common chimney starter to light them up (don’t use lighter fluid). When the charcoal is glowing red, use a grill rake to level the coals, give a quick fan to blow off the excess ash and place the eggplants directly on the hot embers. Turning frequently with long tongs, cook until charred all around, which typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes.


Imam Bayildi (Eggplants Stuffed with Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes and Parsley)


For 6 Person(s)


  • For the eggplant:
  • 6 Japanese eggplants (long variety)
  • 1/4 cups olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the filling:
  • 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, quartered and sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, halved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • 1 cups chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 large cans (approximately 40 oz. total) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and juice reserved

Imam Bayildi (Eggplants Stuffed with Onions, Garlic, Tomatoes and Parsley) Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Peel ½-inch strips of the eggplant lengthwise, giving it a striped look, then cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Place the halves in a colander, sprinkle with salt to remove any bitterness and allow to purge for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse the halves well and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Score the flesh of the eggplants with a sharp knife in a crisscross pattern without piercing the outer skin. Brush both sides of the eggplant halves with the olive oil and place in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and bake each side about 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and soft.
  4. While the eggplants are baking, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and sauté the onions and the garlic until slightly softened—about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and the sugar, if desired (most vegetable dishes that are cooked in olive oil and served at room temperature have a small amount of sugar to enhance the flavor). Add the parsley and turn off the heat.
  5. Remove the eggplant from the oven and place in an ovenproof dish. Slice the tomatoes and reserve any juice this produces.
  6. Mound the filling onto the eggplant halves with a slotted spoon and top with the sliced tomatoes. Pour the tomato juice over the stuffed eggplants, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and bake until the eggplants are pierced easily with a fork—about 45 minutes. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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