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Melitzanes Imam: Greek Eggplant Recipe

Don’t get fooled by its name. Melitzanes iman is a 100% Greek plate. This traditional eggplant dish is of the most preferred and popular Ladera (also known as lathera). Lathera is the cooking term that Greeks use for the foods that are cooked in oil. It literally means “with oil” or “oily”. And by oil, we only mean Greek olive oil! This is the only oil they use in cooking.  

Just like melitzanes iman, all lathera dishes are ideal for vegetarians and for those who fast. Although Greeks do not fast as much as they did in the past, they usually don’t eat meat on Wednesday and Friday as part of following the Mediterranean diet. To make this dish even tastier, there are those who like to eat melitzanes iman with some feta cheese. Just delicious!

Melitzanes imam is a healthy proposal to your diet. Living a literally hectic life, it is challenging to consume all the vegetables you need to consume every day. The good news is the by consuming Ladera you get a lot of your daily fiber requirements in combination with all the minerals you get from the ultra-healthy Greek olive oil.  

Cooking melitzanes imam requires some cooking skills and takes some time. However, the outcome is totally worth it. For this recipe, you need the following ingredients: eggplants, onions, fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, Greek olive oil, salt, pepper, and sugar.

Lathera dishes, in general, are made up of one vegetable, olive oil, tomatoes, herbs, and olive oil. Let me correct myself. A lot of olive oil! You, on the other hand, you can use as much as you want, based on your own personal taste. Moreover, if you wish to give melitzanes imam a  crustier taste, you can use some breadcrumbs and sprinkle the eggplants before you place them in the oven.  

This authentic melitzanes imam recipe is for 6 persons, takes around one hour and a half to prepare it and one hour to cook.

Melitzanes Imam – Instructions

  • 1 ½ of eggplants
  • 4 onions, finely chopped
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, skinned and thinly cut
  • 5 garlic cloves, each cut in 3-4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of olive oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Melitzanes Imam – Instructions

  1. Start this traditional melitzanes imam recipe by washing under fresh water the eggplants and removing their stems.
  2. Take a knife and cut 3 slits lengthwise in each eggplant.
  3. Salt them and let them in a colander for around 30 minutes.
  4. Wash them again and drain them well.
  5. Put half of the oil into a frying pan and fry the eggplants well and evenly on both sides. 
  6. Remove them and place them on plate with a absorbent paper. 
  7. Take another frying pan and pour in it the rest of olive oil. 
  8. Simmer the onions and add the garlic cloves. Dilute tomato paste in some water. Once they have softened, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, salt, pepper, and sugar. 
  9. Allow the sauce to simmer for around 10 minutes
  10. Preheat oven at 180 °C
  11. Take a spoon and fill the eggplants with the mixture. Place them into a pan. Empty over them the remaining sauce and add one and a half of hot water. 
  12. Bake for around one hour.
  13. Serve melitzanes imam (with a piece of feta cheese – optional)

I hope you enjoy this traditional eggplant recipe. Please help me keep my blog by sharing this melitzanes imam recipe to your favorite social media pages. Thank you in advance! 

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