Imam Bayildi

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3 big eggplants, sliced lengthwise
2 big onions, chopped
1 carrot, shredded 
1/4 celery root, shredded
3-4 tomatoes, shredded or tomato sauce 250 ml.
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
sea salt, black pepper
cayenne, optional
lemon wedges
parsley, for garnish

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to cook often Imam Bayildi and I liked it very much. This Turkish dish is very popular in Bulgaria. 

In Bulgaria, eggplants are usually stuffed with minced meat and tomatoes but I make a healing version of the traditional recipe and use various vegetables. My version is absolutely fat-free, very delicious, and comfortable. 




Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Arrange the halved eggplants on a baking tray. Pierce their cores with a fork to easily bake them. Roast eggplants for 20-25 minutes.


Place a large non-stick ceramic skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft and browned. Add a bit of water if needed to prevent sticking. Add the carrot and celery root to the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then add the tomatoes, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 more minutes until the liquid evaporates.  


Stuff the roasted eggplants with the vegetable sauce. If you prefer, you can put slices of tomatoes on top.


Bake the stuffed eggplants in the oven for 20-25 minutes. 


Remove from the oven and serve immediately with lemon wedges and fresh parsley.  

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