This dish is well known in Bulgaria,but it originates from the Ottoman cuisine where it is called Imam Baildi(the Imam who Fainted when he tried the delicious dish).
Eggplants belong to the night shades family and have an array of many vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C,K and B6,copper,magnesium,phosphorus,good amounts of fiber and folate.
– 2 large eggplants
– 1 carrot
– 1/2 onion
– 5 or 6 garlic cloves
– 1 red bell pepper
– 1/2 cup of cold-pressed sunflower oil
– 1/2 bunch of cilantro
First cut off the tops of eggplants and then slice them in half.With a spoon and the help of a knife gut out the inside meat leaving them looking like boats and salt the inside to help release any bitterness there might be from the plant.Allow it to sit for a moment while prepping the filling and rinse it before stuffing.
Next chop up all the gutted eggplant,red bell pepper,onion,carrot,cilantro and peel the garlic cloves.
In a saute pan add the oil,then onions and all the rest of chopped veggies.Add salt to taste and leave part of the cilantro for sprinkling at the end.When the mixture gets softer,stuff the washed and dried eggplants with it.Bake the stuffed eggplants for about 30-40 min in 400F and add a touch of water for a juicier texture.
Serve with a side of Bulgarian/Greek yogurt and crumbled feta if desired.