Iman Bayildi

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I’m not a particularly big fan of eggplant.  Most likely this is because I never knew you had to extract the bitterness from them by salting and draining before preparation.   When a friend gave me this recipe for a middle eastern eggplant dish, I was a little reluctant at first to try it,  but since I had most of the ingredients, I decided what-the-heck-I’ll-give-it-a-shot and acquired an eggplant.   

I am so glad I did.  This is without doubt the most tasty eggplant dish I’ve ever had.    I gave some to my sister and she, who has traveled quite a bit, said it reminded her of her trips to the middle east where, “they serve eggplant breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”    I served it to her as a side dish with roasted chicken and flatbread.  My friend serves it as a main dish with just a hot crusty bread to slather it on. 

I don’t know where my friend got this recipe so I can’t cite it properly, but I felt compelled to share it with you all.  Enjoy.

Iman Bayildi  

2 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves,crushed
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 14 ounce can tomatoes, chopped
3 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
pepper
2 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Before cooking, slash the eggplant flesh a few times, sprinkle with salt  and drain after half and hour.  Rinse and pat dry

Gently fry eggplants in a heavy pan cut side down in olive oil for 5 minutes, then drain and place in shallow ovenproof dish.  In same pan saute onions, garlic and green pepper for 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, sugar, coriander and seasonings. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the cilantro. Spoon this mixture on top of the eggplants.  Cover and bake a 375 F degrees for 30 – 35 minutes.   Makes 4 very generous servings.

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