Imam Bayaldi

This is a twist on a classic. The Turkish dish, Imam Bayildi, stuffs roasted aubergines, but we’ve kept ours in tact, and kept piling the flavour on top. It makes such a quick, healthy and cheap lunch and is one of our favourite go-to dishes. 


2 aubergines
1 onion, finely slice
4 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Rooted sweet paprika
1 tsp Rooted ground cumin
400g chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
3-4 tbsp plain yoghurt
2 tsp Rooted Za’atar Blend
Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped


Preheat the oven to 200C. Halve the aubergines lengthways, cutting through the stalk and leaving it attached. Use the tip of a sharp knife to score a criss-cross pattern across the flat surface of the aubergine – this will help the heat penetrate into the thickest part of the flesh.

Drizzle half the olive oil (2 tbsp) over the aubergine and then season with salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes in the hottest part of the oven, until the skin has darkened and the flesh is soft and collapsing.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil (2 tbsp) in a saucepan. Cook the onions on a medium heat for about 5 minutes and then add all but ¼ tsp of the garlic, until aromatic, but not coloured. Stir in the paprika and cumin, and then add the tin of tomatoes and dried oregano. Bring to a gentle simmer, and leave it to reduce – with the lid off – while the aubergines are cooking. The finished sauce should be darker red, without any residual moisture.

In a small dish, mix the remaining ½ tsp of garlic with the plain yoghurt, and season with pepper.

Arrange the two aubergine halves on each plate, and spoon the spiced tomato sauce over them. Top with the garlic-yoghurt, Za’atar and parsley and serve.

spices used

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