As you may have gathered by now, the dishes I love to prepare (in general) are quick and easy to do. The less fiddling about, and the more time spent enjoying them, the better.

This Meat Free Monday feast, is as fast and furious as it is is simple to prepare. The cookies at the end, were a sort of reward to the cook. Afterall, if one can not be kind to one’s self, how can one expect others to be?

That’s my story. And, I’m sticking to it!

Imam Bayildi

3 servings

photo property of
I came across this Middle Eastern/Turkish dish, quite literally meaning “The priest fainted” during my third year at University in a cook book (long lost, or perhaps lent to a fellow student and never returned) on spicy dishes from around the world.

What could possibly cause the priest to faint? The garlic, the “expensive” olive oil used? I’m going with the former! There are several versions (and stories) attached to the Imam Bayildi
This is my version of the dish. The smoked sweet paprika, adds another dimension of flavour that I quite like.


1 large aubergine, diced into cubes of roughly 1.2cm size. No need to haul out the ruler though.
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp onions, diced finely
1 tin chopped and peeled tomatoes (1/2 tsp sugar if they’re a little sour)
1/2 chilli finely chopped or 2 tsp chilli pesto
1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste


Heat oil in non-stick pan (useful, as you won’t have to add much oil. Aubergines tend to be thirsty veggies). Fry onions. Add aubergine and garlic. Turn frequently. You can choose to cook until the aubergine has softened or browned slightly. The latter will cause the skins to crisp a little, and if you don’t like the idea of having to remove these bits with your fingers while you eat, just cook to soften. I chose to brown the skins a bit.

Add tomatoes, sugar, chilli and season. Stir in the paprika.
Beautiful! Just don’t faint, please.

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