Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Eggplant Indiana -- the baked Imam Bayildi

It is uncanny how I often repeat a recipe after years and yet it is around the same time of the year that I last cooked.

Yesterday, I bought these lovely eggplants from Costco. Wondering what to do with them, I remembered Imam Bayildi. Guess when I had made Imam Bayildi last? 8 years back just before Big Sis was starting Grade 1.

It has been eight years since. Yes E-I-G-H-T. And Big Sis is starting high school next week. What are the chances that I will be making the same eggplant recipe, at the same time of the year, after a gap of 8 years? And this when Big Sis will not even eat eggplant. Uncanny right?

When I read my old post I realized next week there will be no uniform. I will not have to worry about sewing buttons or hems. I will not even decide what she wears to school. But there will be lots more to worry, things far worse than "buttons"!

So anyway, yesterday when I looked up the Imam Bayildi recipe, I didn't want to fry the eggplants like the original recipe. Instead I decided to do the whole thing in the oven. Like a faux Imam Bayildi.

Now, as you know Imam Bayildi, is a classic Turkish eggplant dish, and it calls for quite a large quantity of Olive Oil. The phrase Imam Bayildi translates to "the Imam fainted" and often the joke is that the Imam probably fainted seeing the amount of expensive olive oil that his wife used in this dish.
This version that I made in the oven is way lighter and the Imam would probably never faint seeing it. He could faint from the heat of my eggplants though.

In fact seeing all the green chilies, Big Sis named it "Eggplant Indiana", which seems to be a more apt name for this dish.

Eggplant Indiana -- the baked Imam Bayildi 

I had 2 eggplants of size on the smaller side.

Get those long slender eggplants or the smaller but slender eggplants, and trim the “heads”. Chop them along the length but keeping the stem. Peel the eggplants in stripes i.e. the skin and the peel should run parallel. Put the eggplants in salted water. After 30 mins remove and drain on paper towel

Preheat oven to 400F. For my toaster oven, I heated it to 425F

Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and put the eggplants face up. Score the flesh of the eggplant with a knife, making diamond patterns, but not cutting through the skin. Press sliced clove of garlic in the flesh of the eggplants.

Brush the eggplants generously with olive oil, garlic powder and salt. Put them face-down on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 mins.

Next take out the tray and carefully turn the eggplants so that they are now face up. Cover the tray loosely with an aluminum foil. Put back in the oven for 20 more minutes

Meanwhile, make the tomato-onion-garlic mix as you would in the regular version.

Heat 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This is a must and no other oil will do.Add 1/2 of a chopped red onion and saute till pink. Add 4 cloves of garlic minced.

Add 1 large juicy tomato chopped(or half a can of diced tomato), 2 tbsp of chopped coriander, 3 green chilies chopped in rounds, white pepper powder, salt and sugar to taste. Saute till the tomato softens and is cooked. I added some Red Chili powder to spice it up too.

After 45 mins or so when the eggplant are almost done, take out the baking tray. Scoop the tomato-onion mixture onto each eggplant face. Put back in oven for 10 mins

Serve with some feta on top

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  1. You spelt something wrong! "it calls for quiet a large ". You English language Wizz! (No offense intended; I respect you so much for your command on the language!)

    1. Ha ha!!! See, this is why we need editors and proof readers ;-)

  2. So its basically Baingan Bharta without mincing the eggplant.

    1. Err...well if you narrow it down that way, everything is something else :-D
      Try it, tastes different from Baingan Bharta


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