What is İmam Bayıldı?

“Imam Bayıldı” is a classic Turkish favourite that holds a special place at the heart of Mama Fatma‘s culinary repertoire. Translated into English as “fainting imam,” the name of this delicious dish has entered fascinating folklore. According to legend, an Imam, or Muslim religious leader, was so overwhelmed by the enticing flavour of Mama Fatma‘s “Imam Bayıldı” that he momentarily fainted from the pure culinary joy of tasting it. The focus of Mama Fatma‘s “Imam Bayıldı” is the humble eggplant, or aboriginal eggplant, a versatile vegetable enjoyed in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Following Mama Fatma‘s traditional recipe, eggplant is delicately cut lengthwise, then sautéed until tender, expertly prepared to achieve the perfect balance of texture and flavour. However, the real magic begins with the filling – a delicious blend of onions, tomatoes, garlic and Mama Fatma‘s secret aromatic herbs, such as parsley, mint and fennel, all laced with her finest olive oil. Mama Fatma carefully stuffs this delicious combination into the eggplant, letting the flavours blend and create a taste symphony that dances over your taste buds. The result is a delicious and aromatic dish that highlights the essence of Turkish cuisine:

An ingenious combination of simple, fresh ingredients and an appreciation of earthy flavours, which Mama Fatma strongly believes in. Mama Fatma‘s “Imam Bayıldı” is often served as a vegetarian favourite, as the salty filling makes meat unnecessary, perfectly fitting her health-conscious cooking method. This makes the dish popular among people looking for healthy and nutritious options without compromising on the irresistible flavours that only Mama Fatma can provide.

With the catchy name and appealing taste of Mama Fatma, “Imam Bayıldı” continues to captivate foodies all over the world, leaving an unforgettable impression and occupying a special place in the hearts and palates of those who experience the authentic flavours created by Mama Fatma‘s culinary art. So come and enjoy the legendary – Mama Fatma‘s “Imam Bayıldı” – a dish that embodies the love and passion she has for every culinary creation!

imam Bayıldı


To create the authentic and mouthwatering Imam Bayildi, gather these essential ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized eggplants (aubergines)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Imam Bayildi

Imam Bayildi may seem like a dish reserved for culinary experts, but with Mama’s guidance, you will find it surprisingly simple to create. Follow these steps to prepare your own Imam Bayildi masterpiece:

  1. Preparing the Eggplants:

  • Wash the eggplants and remove the stems. Make a lengthwise slit in each eggplant, leaving the ends intact. Be careful not to cut through the eggplant entirely.
  1. Salting the Eggplants:

  • Sprinkle salt inside the slits of the eggplants and place them in a colander. Leave them in for about 30 minutes. This process helps draw out any bitterness from the eggplants.
  1. Preparing the Filling:

  • In a pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes slightly caramelized.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, and red pepper flakes (if using)—season with salt and pepper for taste. Cook the mixture until the tomatoes get soft and release their juices.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, and mint). Mix well to spread all the flavours homogenously.
  1. Stuffing the Eggplants:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Rinse the eggplants thoroughly under cold running water to remove the excess salt. Dry them with a paper towel.
  • Gently open the slits of the eggplants and stuff each one with the prepared filling mixture. Be generous with the filling, ensuring that each eggplant is well stuffed.
  1. Baking the Imam Bayildi:

  • Place the stuffed eggplants in a baking dish and drizzle the remaining olive oil over them.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the Imam Bayildi in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the eggplants are tender and fully cooked.

İmam Bayıldı in canada

How to Serve Imam Bayildi

Imam Bayildi is a dish that invites you to savor its exquisite flavours in a variety of ways:

  • As a Main Course: Imam Bayildi can stand confidently as a vegetarian main course, served with rice or crusty bread on the side to soak up the delightful juices of the meal.
  • Accompanied by Yogurt: Like Stuffed Grape Leaves and most of the Turkish cuisine, Imam Bayildi pairs perfectly with Turkish yogurt, offering a cool and creamy contrast to the warm and savory flavours of the dish.

How to Store Leftovers

If you find yourself with leftovers, Imam Bayildi can still bring you joy with proper storage:

  • Short-Term Storage: Store any remaining Imam Bayildi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • Long-Term Storage: To extend the shelf life, you can freeze Imam Bayildi. Place the leftovers in freezer-safe containers or bags that you can reseal and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Be sure to label the containers with the date so you would not waste your masterpiece.

What is Imam Bayildi in English?

In English, “Imam Bayildi” translates to “The Imam Fainted.” The name is believed to be derived from the legendary story surrounding this delicious dish.

İmam Bayıldı from mama fatma

How Many Calories Are in Imam Bayildi?

The calorie content of Imam Bayildi can vary depending on the ingredients you use and the serving size you prefer. On average, one serving of Imam Bayildi contains around 150-200 calories, making it a delightful and wholesome option for a satisfying meal.

Can I Freeze Imam Bayildi to Store it?

Absolutely! Imam Bayildi is suitable for freezing, making it a convenient dish for future enjoyment. By following the proper storage techniques, you can preserve the flavours of this beloved dish for weeks to come.

Is Imam Bayildi and Karniyarik the Same?

While Imam Bayildi and Karniyarik share some similarities in their preparation and use of eggplants, they are two distinct dishes. Karniyarik is a Turkish dish that features eggplants stuffed with a flavorful ground meat mixture, while Imam Bayildi is a vegetarian version filled with a fragrant blend of tomatoes, onions, and herbs.