What always surprises me is every cuisine in the world will have some dishes similar to another. This baked Aubergine (eggplant) Imam from Turkey is so much similar to Indian Baingan ka Bharta (aubergine mash) only the flavours and spices are a bit different.
I absolutely love any preparation of Aubergine, be it Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern or even Japanese with some miso paste! In old times Aubergine was considered poor man’s meat because of it’s texture and looks but I think it’s rather a Vegetarian gem when you want to have some meaty but not actual meat.
This is my take on this traditional Turkish recipe and I loved it.
I served it with gluten free pita breads but you can serve with any type of bread you like!
Do give it a try!
- 3 large aubergines (eggplants) cut lenghtways
- 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 large onion finely sliced
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 200 g cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh type chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano chopped
- 2 red chillies finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F.
Grease a baking pan and keep it aside.
Cut the aubergine and place it in a salted water.
Heat a pan, brown the aubergine in some oil and place them in a greased baking pan.
In the same pan, add olive oil and sauté the onion till golden. Add the garlic and continue to sauté till onion is brown.
Add in the tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, chillies (if you are adding), sugar and all the spices. Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add in the herbs, lemon zest. Adjust salt and pepper.
Pour this sauce in the baking pan over the aubergine.
Bake it for 45 minutes to 1 hour till the aubergine is cooked.
Serve with bread!