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LOCATION: Recipes >> Middle Eastern >> Imam Biyaldi 03

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Imam Bayildi (VEGAN)

4 eggplants
4 large onions
12 cloves garlic
2 cups water
1 cup olive oil
4 tomatoes (skinned)
12 sprigs parsley
1 Tsp. sugar
salt to taste

Cut the onion into thin half-moon slices. Chop the tomatoes and
parsley and mix with the onion slices. Add the garlic and salt
and leave aside. Leave the stalk on the eggplants but peel the dark
outer skin in 1/2-inch wide strips lengthwise, then make a deep
incision in the center lengthwise. Sprinkle generously with rock
salt and leave aside for 30 minutes to extract the vegetable's
bitter juices.

Was well and pat dry. Take the onion mixture and fill the eggplants
with this then lay them side by side in a wide-bottomed saucepan.

Add water, olive oil, salt, and a sprinkling of sugar. Put a plate
on them and then cover the saucepan. Cook until the eggplants are
soft and tender and the liquid reduced to almost nothing (less than
1 tablespoon should remain in the saucepan) -- about 1-1/2 hours
on medium heat. Allow to cool in own saucepan and serve very cold.

Notes: This the traditional way to do this. It preserves the shape
of the eggplant and looks very nice. However, we just cut the
eggplant up into slices, salt it and let stand to extract the
bitterness, then cook it in the onion mixture without stuffing the
eggplants. Tastes the same! This is delicious served on bread or
crackers.

The name of the dish means "The Imam fainted." The story is that
the Imam's wife made this for him, and it was so delicious that
he...well he didn't faint, but he asked his wife to make it for
him every day. And every day she made it for him, and every day he
ate it, and it was so delicious that...well, he didn't faint until
he saw the bill for the olive oil that came at the end of the month!

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