Imam Bayildi is a great dish. An interesting story behind this African food is that the Imam fainted when his wife told him that she had used up all the olive oil in the house to making this dish. This African food is superbly delicious.
1 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
4 medium tomatoes
4 tablespoons parsley
2 medium eggplants
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt (to taste)
Chop the two medium-sized onions. Peel and crush it in a plate. Chop the tomatoes. Chop the parsley and fresh mint. Trim the ends of the eggplant.
Put the saucepan on the gas cooker. Add little oil and heat the oil for about a minute.
Sauté the chopped medium onions in the little oil, add the crushed garlic, chopped tomatoes, the chopped parsley, pepper and salt. Cook until all the ingredients in the oil comes together as a very thick stew and there is no liquid in the saucepan.
Add and stir the chopped fresh mint.
Now cut the trimmed eggplants in half lengthwise. Make three lengthwise slits, almost from end to end, cutting into the flesh about 1 inch deep. In another large saucepan, pour half-cup olive oil – do all the aforementioned over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, cut side down, and fry gently, until dark and golden-brown on cut side. Turnover and fry the half skin side a couple more minutes.
Remove the fried eggplant from the oil (the fried eggplants will have absorbed much of the oil) and place the fried eggplant on the paper towels to drain for about fifteen minutes.
Turn the eggplants over and place in the pan, season with salt. Fill with the onions and tomatoes mixture. Mix the remaining olive oil, sugar, the lemon juice and water. Drizzle over and around the eggplants.
Cover the pan and place over low heat. Cook for about one and half hours, checking the pan for liquid and basting time to time with the liquid in the pan, add little water to the pan if it becomes too dry.
By now, the eggplants should be practically flat and the liquid in the pan slightly caramelized. Spoon this juice over the eggplant and allow cooling in the pan. This African food is ready to be served, and we hope that your husband won’t go the Imam Bayildi way after hearing that you’ve used up all the olive oil at home.