Stuffed aubergines

Make hearty stuffed aubergines, known as imam bayildi, for a vegetarian or vegan dinner
By Allegra McEvedy
Stuffed aubergines
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 large aubergines, around 500g each
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 3 red onions, sliced
  • 4 peppers, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4. Halve the aubergines lengthways and score with a deep cross-hatch, taking care not to go through the skin. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil before putting into a baking dish.

2. Cook the aubergines for 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft, then take out and leave to cool. Leave the oven on.

3. Put a large, wide pan on a medium heat and add the 150ml extra virgin olive oil. Sweat the onion, peppers and garlic over a medium heat for 15 minutes or until they have softened, stirring regularly.

3. When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out the skin, keeping the skin in tact for later. Roughly chop the flesh and add to the pan with the vegetables.

4. Stir the vegetables and fry gently for another 10 minutes before adding the chilli, cumin and oregano. Cook the spices out for a couple of minutes then add half the tomato purée and all the sundried tomato purée. Stir again to make sure that everything is nicely coated and then sprinkle in red wine vinegar.

5. Turn the heat off. Stir in the parsley and lemon zest, then season with salt and pepper.

6. Spoon the mix back into the aubergine skins and place them back in the baking dish.

6. Whisk the rest of the tomato purée into half a litre of boiling water. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour into the dish between the aubergines so that it comes most of the way up the skin but does not flood over the top. Save any liquid you do not use.

7. Bake in the oven for half an hour and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving with some of the cooking juices spooned over the top.

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