Imam Bayildi with Feta

Imam Bayildi with Feta 3

This eggplant dish is one of the most famous Turkish dishes and you can find many variations on them. İmam bayildi means “the imam fainted”. This is very popular in Greece under the same name: Ιμάμ Μπαϊλντί.

A legends tell that an imam (Muslim priest) swooned because he had too much of this delightful dish.

Some recipes added green peppers and most are prepared in the skillet. In my variation we used the skillet only to prepare the filling as we baked the dish. We also added some feta and potatoes to the mold. In this way we have a delicious full meal.

You need

  •  4 medium eggplants (ca. 600-800 g)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 500 g onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 500 g tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can of 450 g)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Salt, taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 200 g feta (cut into 4 portions)
  • 600 to 800 g potatoes, peeled in cubes (optional)


  1. Wash the eggplants and make a big long cut for the filling.
  2. Place the eggplant in a baking mold and broil turning them from time to time until soft. Set aside. Some people remove strips of the skin and place them in salted water to remove the liquid that may be bitter and then they fill it directly.
  3. In the meanwhile (but keep an eye to the eggplants!) fry the onions in the remaining oil, when they are soft add the garlic and fry 3 more minutes.
  4. Add the half of the tomatoes, parsley, and pepper. Adjust salt and pepper  to your taste.
  5. Adjust the eggplant in a mold (cut side up) and fill them with the onions mix, but reserve at least 3 tablespoons of filling in the skillet.
  6. Arrange the potatoes (if used) around the eggplants.
  7. Add the remaining tomatoes to the onion in the pan. Add some salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and cover your eggplants and potatoes with this tomatoes sauce.
  8. Place the feta over the filling and press the pieces partially inside of the sauce.
  9. Bake for about one hour at 170-180°C or until the potatoes are ready. From time to time check if it is not drying too much, if necessary add 1/2 cup of water.

Imam Bayildi with Feta 4


4 thoughts on “Imam Bayildi with Feta

  1. This dish is sooo wonderful — all the ingredients we love together in a dish. We absolutely adore eggplant and I used the long slender Asian eggplants; however, I think the dish would be equally good with globe eggplants or the small Indian eggplants. Loved the combination of the onions, tomatoes and the feta. We will definitely have this dish again very soon. Nancy’s Pantry : )

    • Thanks a lot Nancy for trying this, I’m glad you liked it!
      I make this with the eggplants I can find; rond, long, small,…
      and this works very well with all of them. Eggplants are very healthy and sooo delicious!

  2. I could only find fat eggplants, or little baby ones : so i used quite a few little baby ones, and I think it worked well, certainly we both loved this unusual dish, much easier to prepare than I first anticipated!! This is without doubt somwething I will make again, the addition of feta is delicious!! Thank you, glad I tried this, another winner!!!

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