easy imam bayildi

This aubergine recipe is absolutely one of my favourite things ever. It’s an ancient Middle Eastern recipe that is so delicious I could eat it every day, normally it’s made with scooped out roasted stuffed aubergine halves which can go a bit too leathery. I serve it with warm flat breads, Greek yogurt (or Oatly crème fraîche if you are dairy free) and salad and it’s the perfect lunch or starter. It’s brilliant with my Baked Falafel too. Sometimes I add toasted pine nuts on top with the mint and parsley leaves. My friend Giada and I had it for lunch on toast with hummus and it was delicious.


Serves 3-4

  • 2 aubergine sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices lengthwise
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp of red chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (I think it needs quite a lot)
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Small bunch of mint
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 1 tsp of maple syrup (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 180c or 350f.

The cut aubergines can be salted and left to drain for twenty minutes then washed before use, however they have bred the bitterness out of some of them so I generally find it unnecessary. 

Fry the aubergine slices in a big glug of olive oil, on both sides till golden. Set aside. Fry the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil till it’s starting to go golden and add the garlic, cinnamon, chilli flakes, maple syrup and a pinch of salt and cook for a further minute. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and gently cook the sauce for about 5 minutes.

Place the aubergines in an oven proof dish or pan and pour over the tomato sauce, or in layers like a lasagna. Cover with a lid or tightly with foil and bake for about for about one hour or until the aubergines are tender. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and leaves of the mint and serve. They are even better the next day after a night in the fridge.

My serving suggestion below is with warm pita bread, salad, Oatly crème fraîche and lots of the herbs.

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2 thoughts on “easy imam bayildi

  1. Loved this recipe! There seems to be one ingredient missing? 1 teaspoon (after the red chilli flakes) – I’ve added tomato purée today.

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