Vegetarian for Life
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Imam Biyaldi (The Priest Fainted)

Made with the finest olive oil, this magical dish has been a favourite at special occasions throughout Turkey and beyond ever since the Imam fainted at its gorgeousness!

Serves: 4
Time to prepare: 15 mins
Time to cook: 45 mins
Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Halal, Kosher, Vegan


  • 2 medium-sized aubergines
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions, peeled and cut lengthways
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
  • 1 tbsp coarse black pepper
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 40g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 300ml hot water


  1. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways, score the flesh and scoop out leaving a 1.5cm thick edge.
  2. Heat the oil and sauté the onions and scooped out aubergine flesh together.
  3. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, tomatoes, tomato concentrate, pepper and salt and simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the aubergine ‘shells’.
  5. Place the aubergines into an ovenproof dish and carefully pour round the hot water.
  6. Cover with foil and bake at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for 40 minutes or until aubergines are tender, topping up the water if it evaporates too quickly.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Sue Gibson
16 August, 2021

Really enjoyed this talk by Alex (can’t remember his surname).  I am married to a vegetarian of forty years plus.  When we first started courting we would creep into a restaurant to ask if they did vegetarian food, often to be answered with a shrug of the shoulders, at which we would ask if they could make an omelette!!!!  Or we would share a plate of food, but I guess the chips would have been cooked in animal fat in those days.  This demonstration has given me the inspiration to try alternative recipes as we are definitely in a rut as regards interesting meals.

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