This dish, which much resembles some of the delicious aubergine and tomato dishes so familiar to those who have travelled in Italy or in the South of France, hails from Turkey. It was given me by a much-travelled friend—who happens to be a great linguist—and knowing my voracious appetite—not for food, but for new and curious recipes, he collects them for me wherever he goes. This particular dish has a weird Turkish name—Imam Baildi, which, I am told, means " the Imam in a swoon," as the Imam, on partaking of this dish for the first time, thought it so delicious that he actually fainted with delight! Although I hope my readers will enjoy this delightful concoction, I hope none of them will " swoon " like the Imam, or the ladies in early Victorian days.
A few aubergines, 1/2 a lb. of onions, 1 lb. of tomatoes, a little salad oil, I clove of garlic (optional), salt and pepper.
Put a few tablespoons of salad oil in a frying-pan, and when hot, put in the onions, finely chopped, and the tomatoes, either sliced or in quarters, with the clove of garlic. Season highly with salt and pepper. Cook slowly till all is reduced to a pulp. Remove the stalks of the aubergines, but do not skin them. Blanch them in boiling water for 5 to 8 minutes, then split them lengthwise. Remove a little of their pulp, and stuff each half with the tomato and onion puree. Now place them in a well-buttered fireproof dish, pour a little more of the tomato and onion puree over them and cook in a slow oven for 1 hour.