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Imam Bayeldi (Braised Eggplant, Leeks and Tomatoes)

braised leeks and tomatoes

This Turkish specialty is made of braised leeks, eggplant and tomatoes. It tastes wonderful and you can make it ahead and eat it hot, cool or at room temperature. I have even used the leftovers for sandwiches (either with feta cheese or grilled meat).

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6-8 ServingsServings


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water


Cut the eggplant into slices about 3/8-inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and let rest for 30 minutes.

Wipe the eggplant slices dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook the eggplant slices a few at a time for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly wilted. Add more olive oil to the pan as needed to prevent scorching (use 4-5 tablespoons more if needed). Place the cooked eggplant into a baking dish (cut it into smaller pieces if you wish). Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add the leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, parsley, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Spoon the vegetables on top of the eggplant. Drizzle with any remaining olive oil and the water.

Cover the pan and bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.