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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A for Aubergines Altinkum and Anatolia.

I just love Aubergines, cooked in any shape or form.

My first taste of the delectable 'Egg Plant' was during our first holiday in Turkey many years ago. This was the start of a great love affair with one of my  favourite countries in Eastern Europe/Asia Minor.

Pictured below is my version of  Imam Byildi, a dish of baked Aubergines, stuffed with minced lamb,  garlic,  tomatoes, onions, basil and a splodge of red wine, seasoned to taste with a soft cheese on top to finish. If you haven't tried this before there are lots of recipes on-line  for your perusal. Some of the recipes are meatless but adding meat makes it more filling.


 My take on Imam Byildi, all ready to pop under the grill to melt the cheese.

On reflection, I put extra cheese on this after I'd taken the picture, but it is personal preference, I use feta cheese or mozzarella.

Folklore.

 

One folk story behind this dish was that, when the Imam's wife prepared it for him,  he became so ecstatic that he fainted!

Imam Byildi literally translates as 'the imam fainted'.... My husband didn't faint when he tried my recipe, however he did say it was very good and had a second helping !

 Another story that was widely believed, that, a local Imam married the daughter of a wealthy olive oil merchant and part of the wedding dowry was twelve jars of olive oil.

 Each day thereon, the dutiful wife made his favourite dish for him.

 On the thirteenth day the twelve jars of olive oil had gone, on learning this he was so distressed that he fainted.

 

ALTINKUM in Turkey, Asia Minor

This was our first experience of Turkey and what a beautiful country it is, stunning beaches and verdant pastureland, with goats in abundance  from the  highly bred 

Angora Goat.

It's coat is woven into the most expensive Cashmere fabric   

 

Then there are the ubiquitous Mountain Goats which can be encountered in

Abundance all over the rocky terrain surrounding the villages and towns of Anatolia in the  South West region of Turkey

Every corner you turn, these chaps can be seen peering down, whilst perching on the precarious rock faces  lining the road sides through the Anatolia region

 

All out of 'A's now so, time to say Adieu, Au revoir and Auf wiedersehen to all out there.

Hurrah! My first letter 'A'.

 

My sincere accolades to the adorable Denise Nesbitt for working so hard in devising abcw and the astute Roger for being such an amazing administrator.

  

17 comments:

  1. What a great A post, Di! I didn't know you'd been to Turkey, either. I love eggplant or aubergine in practically anything, too, but it's not that common here. I must get some next time I see it in the shop.

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  2. Fun post! I'd be going for a vegetarian recipe but I do share your enjoyment of Aubergines. The goats were magnificent, the stories about fainting very entertaining, and I liked learning a little bit about the Anatolia region.

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  3. Hi Leslie,
    We've travelled extensively through Turkey, visiting the magnificent ruins of Ephesus, Pamukkale.
    Central Turkey, visiting Cappadocia, Konya the spiritual home of the Whirling Dervishes and several more historic places of great interest.
    The one place we haven't visited is Istanbul, the holiday was cancelled because of terrorist bombs, much to my dismay!
    Participating abcw has really opened up new horizons for me thanks to you and Denise,
    It's a pity we didn't use a digital camera during our trips to Turkey, we've got some brilliant photographs and particularly of Ephesus.
    I shall include more of our Turkey trips, where I can, through the current series, it's such an interesting country.

    love Di.xx

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  4. Hello Black Jack's Carol, thank for your comments, There are loads of veggie dishes including Aubergines, on the internet, which I'm sure you already know.
    I'm rather fond of Greek Moussaka too, which includes lots of aubergines and glorious olive oil, I make the veggie version for a friend of mine , she loves it!
    best wishes,
    Di.x

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  5. Hello Roger, I'm glad you are rather fond of egg plant, if you lived nearby, I'd make you some of the Imam's favourite as long as you promise not to faint!

    Happy week,

    Di.x

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  6. A wonderful A post! I love eggplant. or aubergines! As a child I often ate this, but I cannot remember how it was prepared. We called this vegetable " terrong"!
    Thanks for the recipe, Di!
    Wil, ABCW Team.

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  7. Hi Wil, I do look forward to your comments thank you!
    I didn't go into great detail but how I prepare this dish is to cut the aubergine lengthways, scoop out the flesh , chop it into small chunks, put to one side and drizzle with lemon and olive oil. I cover the shells with olive oil and some sea salt then bake in the oven gas mark 6 for 20-25mins, in the meantime I make a ragout with minced lamb, onions, garlic and a tin of tomatoes (400grams). Then I add the aubergine flesh along with a teaspoon of cinnamon and any fresh herbs I have, usually thyme and basil. When this is cooked through, I stir in a little soft cheese then it's ready to put inside the baked aubergine cases, scatter some cheese on top and bake in the oven for about 30 mins (medium heat)...Voila done!
    I hope you enjoy it but please don't swoon with delight!
    Have a lovely weekend,
    love Di.xx

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  8. I admit that I haven't tried eggplant in a very long time. Mostly because my only memory of it is "Yuck!" (I don't even remember the taste, because I was so young. I just remember that I never wanted to touch it again.) But my sister grows a lot of it in her garden, and she and her husband swear that they've found some really good recipes. So next time I visit I guess I'll have to try it again. Maybe my tastes have matured.

    Oh, and I'm forwarding your recipe to my sister. I'm too lazy of a cook to make it myself, but maybe she'll make it for me sometime. :)

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  9. Am impressed with your travels...am not a fan of eggplant, maybe I should try it again♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/abstracts/

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  10. I found out that I love aubergine when I visited Turkey! They know how to cook it and it is so common there. I have tried to replicate some recipes but failed. Your Imam Byildi looks delicious! I enjoyed your post, as always you have interesting topics and I learn something too. Now I want to do more exploring around Turkey.
    Cheers,
    Susan

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  11. HI Melissa, thanks for dropping by and your comments,
    My reply to Wil, which is just above your comment included more comprehensive details of my recipe, which I devised from a cookery book that purchased whilst on holiday there.
    Good luck to your sister, I hope she likes it.
    I'm going to get an aubergine plant/s and see if I can grow them. The British climate is quite variable but I have got a greenhouse, so we shall see !
    I hope you enjoy your sister's efforts, she must be well used to
    cooking Aubergenes if she grows them,
    Best wishes,
    Di.x

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  12. I have an aubergine in this week's organic veg box - will have to give this a go. Another round of ABC Wednesday - great to have you here Di. Thanks for your words of encouragement over the past few weeks - so much appreciated! Denise xxx

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  13. Hello Denise,
    Great to have you back, so glad you're feeling better, you've been missed xx
    I hope it's a big aubergine Ian can eat two of them (hungry Horace), If you look at my comment to Wil from Holland I've written some more comprehensive details about making my dish, you can put paprika in it too!
    Wil is one of my new blogging 'best friends', she's such an interesting lady..... and it's all thanks to you, Mrs Nesbitt,
    love,
    Di..xx

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  14. I have to admit I am not a fan of aubergines. I think I will stick with the Cashmere ;-)

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  15. Probably a better choice for you Cherie...
    Sometimes Aubergines are likened to Marmite... and that just leaves me cold.
    You either love it or loathe it.
    It doesn't have to be like that, it just has to be cooked properly
    Di xx

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  16. Aubergines do swallow up a load of oil!

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I always try to reply to each comment on an individual basis so please pop back, when you have time, as there may be more to learn from either side, i.e. myself and commenter Thank you, Di x

Shaky and Silver Linings.