Bosnian Food Turkish Food

Imam Bajildi – Turkish Stuffed Aubergine in the Bosnian Way

Imam Bajildi is the Bosnian name for a traditional Turkish dish of stuffed aubergines. Spelt in Turkish, İmam bayıldı, it literally translates as “the imam fainted”, with the word bayıldım (I fainted) also used when you’re really enjoying eating something.

Made in Bosnia for several centuries, the filling normally includes a mix of fried onions, chopped tomatoes, garlic, pepper and salt. It can either be created by cutting the aubergines in half and placing the filling on top, or leaving the aubergine whole, cutting long incisions down the sides and stuffing those instead.

Based on a recipe collected by Alija Lakišić

How to Make It

A plate of Turkish stuffed aubergines known as imam bayildi

2 medium aubergines
2 medium onions, chopped
6 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves
Olive Oil
Green or purple basil
Lemon Juice

  1. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Score the insides, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes at 170C fan until the flesh has softened
  2. Meanwhile fry the chopped onion for a few minutes, before adding the roughly chopped tomatoes and cook together for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Once the aubergines are ready, scoop out the inside and spoon in the tomato and onion mixture.
  4. Lay the aubergines in a dish, drizzle with a generous glug of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Once they’re ready, garnish with shredded parsley, basil and a squeeze of lemon. Serve hot or cold.

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