İmambayıildı ( Stuffed eggplants: vegetarian version)
Today it is the last day of Ramadan fasting month and tomorrow Islamic world is celebrating Şeker Bayram or Sweet Festival. That's why to prepare stomachs for loads of baklava, gülaş and böreks, I made a vegetarian version of traditional Turkish dish ( originally eggplants are stuffed with fried ground beef or lamb). However, in Istanbul region a vegetable stuffing is also common. As I am a huge eggplant/ aubergine lover, I enjoyed it with all my heart...
What we need:
1-2 eggplants per serving ( I took 6 medium sized eggplants)
3-4 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
0,5 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
some chopped parsley and fresh mint
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 glass of water or vegetable stock
2 big onions
fresh or dried thyme
yogurt for serving
What we have to do:
1. Clean the eggplants. Peel some stripes of the skin off. Cut out a small stripe where you are planning to put the stuffing. Sprinkle some salt and leave for 15 min. Then fry whole eggplants on a pan with some olive oil until light brown and almost soft.
2. Slice the onions and fry with some oil. Season with salt and pepper, thyme, red pepper flakes, parsley and mint, add 2-3 peeled and chopped tomatoes. Add water and simmer for 10 min.
3. Take eggplants and stuff with 1-2 cloves of peeled and crushed garlic and onion stuffing. Put one or two slices of tomato, pour over the remaining sauce from onion and tomatoes.
4. Pre-heat the oven 175C and roast for 20-30min. Serve warm with yogurt and parsley! Enjoy!!!