|Place of origin||Turkey|
|Region or state||Middle East|
|Serving temperature||Room temperature|
|Main ingredients||Eggplant, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil|
|Cookbook: İmam bayıldı Media: İmam bayıldı|
Imam bayildi (Turkish: İmambayıldı, literally: "the imam fainted [sciz., from exhilaration]"; is one of the most notable zeytinyağlı (olive oil-based) dishes found in Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in Turkish cuisine.
The dish consists of whole braised eggplant stuffed with onion, garlic and tomatoes, simmered in olive oil, and served at room temperature. It is a variation of another popular eggplant dish, Karnıyarık, which additionally contains minced beef.
Imam bayildi is also well known in Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and Armenia by the Turkish name. It is generally known in the Arab world as imam bayouldi. A similar dish is popular in Iran, although various other vegetables and herbs may also be added to the filling. In Albania, Iran and Greece, it is usually served hot.
Origin of the name
The name supposedly derives from a tale of a Turkish imam, who swooned with pleasure at the flavor when presented with this dish by his wife, although other more humorous accounts suggest that he fainted upon hearing the cost of the ingredients or the amount of oil used to cook the dish.
Another folktale relates that an imam married the daughter of an olive oil merchant. Her dowry consisted of twelve jars of the finest olive oil, with which she prepared each evening an eggplant dish with tomatoes and onions. On the thirteenth day, there was no eggplant dish at the table. When informed that there was no more olive oil, the imam fainted.
- Jennifer Speake, Mark LaFlaur. "imam bayildi.". The Oxford Essential Dictionary of Foreign Terms in English. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (15 October 2010). "Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's aubergine recipes". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Food from the Arab World, Khayats, Beirut, 1961.
- John Auto, The Glutton's Glossary: A Dictionary of Food and Drink Terms, Routledge, 1990, ISBN 0-415-02647-4, p. 146.
- Gregory McNamee Movable Feasts: The History, Science, and Lore of Food, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006, ISBN 0-275-98931-3, p. 82.