Imam Bayaldi

READY IN: 2hrs 5mins




  • Peel half the skin away from the eggplants in long strips, so that they look stripy. With the tip of a paring knife, make a deep slash lenghtways on each eggplant. Sprinkle the eggplants with salt and allow them to stand for 30 minutes, then rinse.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  • Put the onions into a pan, preferably non-stick, with 50ml of the olive oil and the sugar. Cook very slowly for about 1 hour until the onions are completely soft and the mixture is the consistency of a light jam.
  • Spread one third of the mixture over the base of an oiled casserole dish (it needs to be a casserole dish with a lid, as you'll need to use the lid later), then add a layer of chopped tomatoes and set aside.
  • Add the remaining tomatoes to the fried onions in the pan; and add the nutmeg and half of the parsley; mix well and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the water to the pan contents and stir; arrange the eggplants on the onion mixture in the bottom of the casserole and with a spoon, stuff the garlic slices into the slashes in the eggplants.
  • Add the pan contents to the casserole dish and work it into the slashes in the eggplants as well. At this point, the casserole dish should be really full!
  • Season to taste and pour the remaining oil over the contents; cover the casserole with a sheet of foil and then the lid. This should ensure that it is thoroughly sealed.
  • Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the eggplants are really soft. If you like a thick sauce, remove the lid for the last 10 minutes to allow it to dry off a little.
  • Allow the dish to cool off until it is lukewarm, then sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve.