There are two stories behind the name, "Imam Baldi" which means, "The Imam fainted dead away". One is that the olive oil used to prepare this dish was so expensive that he fainted from the extravagent use. The other story is that the food was so good that he died completely satisfied and joyful with the tastes of such a dish. I'm hoping that you'll have a similar experience to the latter story.
4 Japanese eggplant (peel off 3 slices of outer skin length-wise around the eggplant)
olive oil (for frying and flavour)
Rich tomato sauce (recipe follows)
Rich Tomato Sauce
1 tin crushed tomatoes (organic fire roasted is nicest)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp brown sugar (to reduce acid of tomatoes)
Preheat oven to 350°F. On the stove top, preheat olive oil in sauté pan. Carefully brown egplants on all sides. This takes some time. One option is to prepare the eggplant on a BBQ by drizzling olive oil over the eggplants prior to grilling. Remove eggplants from pan and place in a baking dish. Let eggplants rest. Split open the eggplants and spoon in the rich tomato sauce into each eggplant. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and drizzle with good olive oil. Bake for up to 30 minutes. Imam Baldi can be enjoyed hot, cold or room temperature. Serve with bread.