Imam bayildi with BBQ lamb & tzatziki

Imam bayildi with BBQ lamb & tzatziki

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins


Serves 6
There are hundreds of versions of this Turkish aubergine dish. It is authentically quite oily, but reduce the oil if you prefer

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal435
  • fat32g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre5g
  • protein27g
  • salt0.27g
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  • 3 aubergines



    Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 8 ripe tomatoes, peeled



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 12 lamb chops or cutlets
  • paprika, for seasoning



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 1 lemon, halved



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

For the tzatziki

  • 150g tub Greek yogurt
  • ½ cucumber, seeds scooped out, grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…


  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Halve the aubergines lengthways and score the flesh side deeply, brush with a good layer of olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 mins or until the flesh is soft enough to scoop out.

  2. Fry the onion in a little oil until soft, add the garlic and cinnamon and fry for 1 min. Once the aubergines are cool enough to handle, scoop out the centres. Roughly chop the flesh and add it to the onions. Halve the tomatoes, scoop the seeds and juice into a sieve set over a bowl, then chop the flesh. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook everything for 10 mins until nice and soft. Add a little more oil if you need to. Stir in the parsley, leaving a little for scattering at the end.

  3. Lay the aubergine halves in a baking dish and divide the tomato mixture between them. Pour over the juice from the tomatoes, drizzle with more olive oil and bake for 30 mins until the aubergines have collapsed.

  4. Meanwhile, mix the tzatziki ingredients together and put in a small serving bowl.

  5. Season the lamb with salt, black pepper and a pinch of paprika. Griddle, grill or barbecue for 3 mins on each side or until the fat is nicely browned, then put in a serving dish and squeeze over the lemon halves. Scatter the aubergines with parsley, then serve with the lamb and tzatziki.

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Comments, questions and tips

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7th Mar, 2017
This is really delicious and gets a lot of compliments. I served it with tzatziki and keftas. Not sure why they ask you to cook it until the aubergines 'collapse' - the skins are pretty collapsed after you've chopped out the flesh in step 2. I didn't bother peeling or de-seeding teh tomatoes, but just chopped them up and added them all in at once. It may have been a bit more 'rustic' but it was lovely!
3rd Apr, 2013
A nice approach however: Ottoman recipe: Regards
5th Dec, 2011
Made the aubergines as a vegetarian main. Went down very well at a family gathering. Made them the day before and that worked well too. Would definitely make again.
26th Jul, 2011
I have cooked this twice and have been really disappointed with the lack of depth of flavour of the aubergine dish Even added a bit of tomato puree to the ripe tomatoes second time around whilst cooking to try to bring out a bit more flavour. Perhaps the cinammon needs to be freshly grated? Don't know. But do like the chops cooked this way and sprinkled with lemon at the end.
7th Nov, 2010
My wife and me spent a weekend in Istanbul and we fell in love with this dish there....being vegetarians we did not have any meat to go with it..... Thanks to BBC Good food guide we managed to cook our own Imam was an instant hit..... TIP : To finish up this grand dish, sprinkle a mix lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil at the end just before serving, this adds a zesty depth to the dish
brizzmus's picture
15th Oct, 2010
Utterly delicious - the aubergines are a meal in themselves, and the lamb makes it all into a really special dinner. I made it with jewelled rice too, for the hungry hordes...
17th Aug, 2010
saw a version being made on the tv, and that looked good....have also tried this in turkey and is was fab - great cold as well.
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