Imam Bayildi translates as ‘the Priest fainted’. The implication being that he fainted with pleasure! The second version of this tale is that he fainted at the cost of the olive oil used in this recipe.

This dish is traditionally a starter, but it also makes for a delicious main course served with rice and yoghurt.


Makes 4 portions




  • 4 Aubergines
  • 2 cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 8 Tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of Parsley
  • 2 Green Peppers
  • 1 teaspoon of Sugar
  • Salt and fresh ground Pepper


  1. First the aubergines need to be peeled in alternate lengthways strips to give a striped effect. Make a slit to form a pocket in the aubergine (see photo below for reference). Cut in half.
  2. Sprinkle generously with salt. Cover with cold water and set aside for 20 mintues.
  3. Finely chop the onions, garlic, tomatoes and parsley and add to the gently warming olive oil in a frying pan. Season with salt and pepper and fry gently for a few moments.
  4. Add a few tablespoons of water, cover the pan and simmer for 10 mintues, or until the onions are soft.
  5. Rinse the aubergines in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel.
  6. Shallow fry the aubergines, turning in an inch or two of olive oil until they are lightly browned on all sides and beginning to soften.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a baking dish open side up.
  8. Then add the sliced green peppers to the an and fry for a couple of minutes.
  9. Fill the aubergines with the tomato mixture and lay a halved or ring-cut green pepper on top.
  10. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over them and add half a cup of water to the dish.
  11. Bake for 30 mintues in a moderate oven. They can be served cold or hot.
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