Thursday, 20 July 2017

Imam Bayildi #sikandalouscuisine

Surekha Tahsin had posted this classic Turkish recipe a few days back - something that was on my ' must make ' list for ages and ages but I never got down to till now - her beautiful post was the inspiration and this recipe is by Ozlem Warren in her blog ozlemsturkishtable .

The aubergines are gently poached in this dish with a generous mixture of onions, tomatoes and garlic. 

2 Large & Slim Aubergines / Baingans.
1 Large onion - Halve & thinly slice.
3 Tomatoes - Finely chop.
3-4 Garlic - Finely chop.
Bunch of Parsley - Finely chop.
4 tablespoons Olive Oil.
Juice of Half Lemon.
2 Teaspoon Sugar.
1 Teaspoon Dried Mint - I used fresh mint leaves.
Salt & Black Pepper To Taste.
Extra Regular Oil - To fry baingans.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the aubergines length ways in zebra stripes, then cut the eggplants / aubergines in half lengthways. In each half of eggplant, cut a deep split length ways without cutting through to the skin on the opposite side and leaving 1/2″-13 mm- uncut at either end- This aids in cooking and balance I suspect .

Sprinkle salt (this will help the moisture come out) over the eggplants and leave for about 10-15 minutes to leach out the moisture and bitter juices of eggplants. After that, thoroughly drain and pat dry the eggplants with paper towel to get rid of this moisture, otherwise they will be soggy.

Heat some oil in a deep sided pan. Place the eggplants in the oil and shallow fry quickly on both sides until they are softened and have a golden brown color. Place some paper towels on a tray and transfer these eggplants there; the paper towels will absorb the excess olive oil.

​The Filling:​

Stir in the sliced onions and garlic in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, dried mint, salt and ground black pepper to taste. Knead this mixture with your hands for the dried mint and seasoning to blend well (this will also help the onions to soften). Stir in the tomatoes and parsley to the mixture and combine well.

Lift the eggplants to a chopping board and open up the split in the middle to create pockets. Spoon the mixture into these eggplant pockets, packing it in tightly so that all of the filling is used up (if you have any left over filling, I would simply cook them in the same pan next to these eggplant pockets).

Place the stuffed eggplants side by side in a wide, heavy pan. Mix the remaining olive oil with ½ cup water, lemon juice and sugar and pour it over the eggplants.Cover the pan with a lid and place over a medium heat to get the oil hot and create some steam. Once the cooking liquid is hot, cook the eggplants for about 45-50 minutes. Once cooked, they should be soft and tender, with a little of cooking liquid left in the bottom of the pan.

Leave the eggplants to cool and rest in the pan for the flavors to settle, then carefully transfer them to a serving dish and spoon the oil from the pan over the eggplants. Serve at room temperature or cold, with a wedge of lemon aside and extra garnish of parsley over them.

Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd. #asianhawkersmarket #sikandalouscuisine #veebaasianhawkersmarket 
Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine 
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