Iman Bayidi, Swooning Imam, or stuffed aubergines to be plain, is a delicious Turkish favourite. It is a melt-in-the-mouth, rich and tangy dish with deep, developed flavours. I’m a fool for a well-cooked aubergine and so this is definitely up there among my favourite dishes
Whenever this recipe is shared, it’s almost compulsory to a tell the wonderful but often disputed legend behind its name. I’ll pick my favourite:
The Swooning Imam, it is said, is so called because when the Imam’s new wife presented the dish to him he was so overcome by the amount of olive oil she used that he fell to the floor in shock (although it is often argued as to whether he had matters of money or health in mind).
If you’re less flappable than the Iman (personally I think he sounds like a bit of a wimp) I recommend you try this dish – if you share his concerns feel free to reduce the olive oil content. The flavours will still carry well if the quantity is reduced by a third or so.
This recipe was adapted by Sally Butcher’s wonderful book Veggiestan: A Vegetable Lover’s Tour of the Middle East.
6 garlic cloves
2 red onions
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn brown sugar
1 tspn lemon juice
1 tspn Cinnamon
salt and black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
yoghurt to serve
Heat the oven to 180-200c. Half the aubergines length-ways, rub with salt and oil and roast for 25 minutes.
Finely slice and fry the onions in a tablespoon of oil and when soft add the spices. Stir to ensure they don’t burn.
Remove the aubergines from the oven and scoop out the middle, being careful not be scoop too much and break the skin of the aubergine. Set aside the roasted innards and lay the skins in the baking dish.
Chop up the tomato (keeping just the flesh if preferable) and inside of the aubergines and add to the onion and spices. Squeeze in half the lemon and sprinkle in the sugar.
Pile all the ingredients of your pan into the aubergine skins and put the dish in the oven. Roast for 30-45 minutes (the longer the better with this dish in my opinion)
Sprinkle the chopped parsley and mint on top and serve with yoghurt. (Bread, cous cous and rice all make great accompaniments)
There are hundreds of different recipes for Imam Bayidi so do let me know if you discover any positive additions or subtractions to this dish – Jodie
If you’re a lover of chocolate brownies, you’ve probably already heard of the Slutty version. If you haven’t – you’re in for a treat.
The Slutty Brownies are incredibly easy to make – now you can go the whole hog and make your own brownie and cookie mix (yes that’s right, it’s got cookie dough in it), but if you’re in need for a quick sweet treat that you can make on auto-pilot, this recipe is for you.
1 box of chocolate chip cookie mix
1 box of brownie mix
2 packs of Oreos
How to do it:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4. Follow the instructions on the chocolate chip cookie mix ( I buy Betty Crocker boxes, which can be found in most supermarkets). Add one tablespoon of extra water and dash of oil, this will help keep it moist.
2. Line a deep baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spoon your cookie mixture into the tray, making sure it’s all flat. Then place your Oreos in a layer on top.
3. Follow the instructions on the packet and make your brownie mixture and then pour over your Oreo layer.
4. Bake for 30 minutes and then leave to cool.
Thanks very much to The Londoner Blog for introducing me to Slutty Brownies!
It was my birthday on Friday. I normally hate my birthday but this year the pain of growing another year older was eased slightly by my acquisition of a dolsot – gifted most generously by Foodboar Colleen.
A dolsot is a stone bowl commonly used in Korean cuisine to make bibimbap – which should (but doesn’t) translate directly as ‘the most delicious rice in the world’. I think it actually translates as ‘mixed rice’ – it’s being far too modest.
It’s something of a national dish. A simple affair made up of steamed short grain rice topped with as many as you dare of the following ingredients: softened bean sprouts, julienne carrots, spinach, sesame seeds, tofu or meat (commonly beef), egg (cooked or raw) cucumber, mushrooms, courgette and pickles.
The magic of this dish is that you can just about add anything you darn well like but you’d be missing the point if you didn’t add a good few lashings of Korean red pepper paste to stir though.
What makes bibimbap so special is that the sizzling stone dolsot turns the rice slightly crispy as you eat it. Now more than once I’ve been accused of guzzling my food too quickly and my justification is always the same: it’s not the same once it goes cold. The brilliant thing about bibimbap is your food stays wincingly hot for a long time, meaning guzzlers like me can eat at their leisure.
To make bibimbap for 2 people:
Dolsot (or a ceramic bowl if not)
Korean hot pepper paste
Pickled cucumber (or kimchi/some other asian-style pickle)
Tofu (or a meat of your choice)
Dried shiitake mushrooms (or fresh if you can get ’em)
Combine 250 g of sushi rice (short grain) with 375 ml of water in a pan – bringing it up to the boil and then letting it simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes. Use a bit of the water you boiled to hydrate the mushrooms in a small bowl
Put the dolsot in a cold oven and gradually let it heat up to 200 degrees (so as not to crack the stone). If you are using a normal ceramic bowl skip this step and just warm it gently as you would normally.
Steam a handful of bean sprouts for 20 minutes, adding the spinach halfway though.
Fry the tofu and set aside. Stir fry the carrots with some garlic and sesame oil and set aside. Stir fry the mushrooms with some sesame seeds and more garlic.
Remove the bean sprouts and spinach for the steamer. Squeeze the water out of the spinach if you want to.
Using gloves remove the hot stone from the oven and fill half way with rice. Place the carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, spinach, cucumber pickle, tofu and a dolop of hot chilli paste in neat piles around the edge of the dolsot and crack a raw egg in the centre.
Stir quickly so the stone cooks the egg. – Jodie
Image left: Left over bibimbap prepared in a ceramic bowl for my housemate
Image Right: Stone bowl bibimbap stirred up and ready to eat
If you like limes, you’ll love this. Before anyone shouts at me for not using Key Limes, thus, this not being a real Key Lime Pie, I’m sorry, I couldn’t find any! If anyone knows where they sell them, I’d love to know.
1 tin of condensed milk – 397g
300g Hob Nobs
3 medium egg yolks
150g melted butter
juice and zest of 4 limes
extra lime zest for decoration
22cm loose-based tart tin
food processor (optional) or
sandwich bag and rolling-pin
Step by Step…
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C / 140C fan.
- Now, here comes the fun part… biscuit crushing! You can either quickly use a food processor (yawn) – or you can whack the Hob Nob biscuits in a plastic sandwich bag and beat with a rolling-pin. I prefer this method as it’s more fun, but yes, the food processor will crumb the biscuits quickly!
- Tip your biscuit crumbs into a bowl and pour in the melted butter. Mix well. Press the biscuit mixture into and up the sides of your loose tart tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Whilst your pie base is cooling, whisk the egg yolks with the electric beater for a minute. Pour in the condensed milk (try not let a spoon of it stray into your mouth) and whisk for 3 minutes. Add the lime zest and juice and whisk again for 3 minutes.
- Pour the filling into your cooled base and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When you have five minutes left, sprinkle your extra lime zest onto the top.
Below is a picture of the finished slice – sorry it’s not a perfect cut, I was too desperate to start eating it! – Colleen
If you love spicy food then you’ll love this recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. We all know that chicken soup has healing properties and this dish is no different.
5 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 roasted chicken breasts – or use leftovers from a roast chicken
500 ml chicken stock
200 ml boiling water
tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
around 4-5 slices of ginger
2 small red chillis – if you like it hot, put more in. (I tend to use around 5 as a heat-lover)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
handful of noodles – I chose rice noodles
chopped coriander –
Step by Step…
- Grab a saucepan and on a medium heat add sesame oil and garlic. Once the garlic sizzles add your chopped spring onions and fry until soft.
- Add shredded chicken, coat in oil and garlic and pour in stock and boiling water.
- Throw in your ginger slices, soy sauce, coriander and chilli. Before it comes to the boil add frozen sweetcorn and noodles. Cook for five minutes and serve!
Feeling under the weather? Ginger and garlic are natures’ antiviral herbs – garlic has anti-bacterial properties that fight infection and ginger has a mild sedative effect and reduces pain and fevers. Cook this and you’ll be feeling the benefits in no time. – Colleen
This Japanese curry with breaded chicken is far too easy to make when considering how delicious it is.
For the curry sauce…
1tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion (diced)
5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
1 1/2tbsp of medium curry powder
2tbsp of plain flour
1 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 bay leaf
1tsp of garam masala
For the chicken…
4 chicken breasts
100g flour (seasoned with lots of salt and pepper)
1 free-range egg
200g panko breadcrumbs
Wok or frying pan
Bowls (for flour, egg and breadcrumbs)
Step by Step…
Heat the oil in the in a wok and add the onions and garlic, sautéing for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, cover, and sweat for ten minutes. Check and stir them occasionally until they have softened. Mix the flour and curry powder together and stir into the onions, garlic and carrots. Let it cook for about a minute before slowly adding the stock, taking care to get any lumps out of the mixture. Add the bay leaf, honey and soy sauce and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Add the garam masala then run the sauce though a sieve. I think this recipe is equally nice unsieved – it’s all a matter of whether you like a chunky sauce or not. Leave the pan with the sauce to one side. It can be reheated once you’ve attended to the matter of the breadcrumbed chicken.
Butterfly the chicken breasts and give them a bit of a bash until they’re under a centimetre thick, and even. Heat 100ml or so of oil in a pan. Lay out three dishes with the flour, egg and breadcrumbs and dip the butterflied chicken in each in that order. Chuck them into the frying pan, giving them about 5 minutes on each side. When they turn crispy and golden, take them out and let them rest for a couple of minutes before cutting width-ways into thin strips.
Give the sauce a quick re-heat and pour on the plate, add the chicken on top. Drizzle a bit more of the sauce over the top but not so much as to make the breadcrumbs go soft.
Serve with shredded cabbage and steamed rice – ideally a fragrant stickier rice like jasmine. Japanese pickles (particularly a bit of Fukujinzuke ) would go a treat with this dish.
Don’t be scared by the lashings of oil required to make this dish – just go with it. It’s really fun to make and an truly scrumtious indulgence. – Jodie