Imam bayildi ( Turkish: İmambayıldı, literally: "the imam was thrilled"; even more literally: "the imam fainted",) one of the most notable Turkish zeytinyağlı (olive oil) dishes, is braised eggplant stuffed with onion, garlic and tomatoes. It is a variation of Karnıyarık, which additionally contains minced beef.
It is a vegetarian meze dish, which consists of eggplant stuffed with onion, garlic, and tomatoes, then simmered in olive oil. It is served cold.
Imam bayildi is also well known in Iran, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece and by Western Armenians by the Turkish/Azeri name. It is generally known in the Arab world as imam bayouldi.
Origin of the name
The name supposedly derives from a tale of a Turkish imam, who swooned with pleasure at the flavor when presented with this dish by his wife, although other accounts suggest he fainted at the cost of the ingredients. And even further stories tell that he fainted because of the amount of oil used to cook it.
Another folktale relates that an imam married the daughter of an olive oil merchant. Her dowry consisted of several jars of the finest olive oil, with which she prepared each evening eggplant cooked in that oil and with tomatoes and onions. On the thirteenth day, there was no eggplant dish at the table. When informed that there was no more olive oil, the imam fainted.
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İmam bayıldı, en.wikipedia.org
Imam Bayildi Stuffed Aubergine (Eggplant), www.petersommer.com
Imam Bayildi, www.cliffordawright.com