Khoresh Bademjan - Eggplant Stew


Any dish with the combination of eggplants and tomatoes is just divine. If you happen to love eggplants and tomatoes this stew has them both, in addition to meat, split peas and sour grapes (ghooreh), which can be found in most Iranian grocery stores. This is a rich, flavorful recipe and one of the favorites among many Iranians.

Khoresh Bademjan - Eggplant Stew

Ingredients:
Serves 6

1 pound of meat (beef or lamb), washed and cubed
2 large eggplants, peeled, sliced and salted--with 2 tablespoons of salt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup yellow split peas, cleaned, washed
3 tablespoons oil for sauteing onion, garlic and meat
1/2 cup of oil for frying eggplants
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
 Water, 3-4 cups
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime, or to taste—or 2-3 tablespoons sour grapes (ghooreh)

Method:
  1. Place the salted eggplants in a large container filled with water; put a heavy bowl or a heavy lid on top of the eggplants to hold them down for ten minutes, this will get rid of the bitterness. Remove eggplants 
  2. from container and pat dry completely before frying.
  3. Fry the eggplants in 1/2 cup of hot oil until brown on both sides. Remove from oil and place on a thick paper towel to take out the excess oil.
  4. Place tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for five minutes before pulling off the skin, then chop or slice them thinly. Or use a can of crushed tomatoes instead.
  5. In a large saucepan, heat the oil, add chopped onions, saute until translucent then add the garlic, stir well. Put in turmeric, meat, salt and pepper and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly. Cook until meat is brown on all sides. 
  6. Add dry split peas, fry for five minutes, this would keep the peas more firm in the khoresh. 
  7. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and three cups of water to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium heat. 
  8. Add the fried eggplant to the mixture, adjust the seasoning and add more water if needed. 
  9. Add the lime juice or two tablespoons of sour grapes (ghooreh). 
  10. Cook for another 30 minutes or until meat is tender. 
Serve hot with rice, fresh herbs, salad shirazi, torshi, or mast o khiar.

Enjoy!

42 comments:

  1. Ooh Yum! This dish is definitely calling out my name. Can't wait to try it this weekend!

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  2. Serves how many ?

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  3. it serves 6-8 with some left-overs!

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  4. What kind of eggplants would you recommend for this dish?

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  5. Anonymous: I used large dark-purple eggplants but I would also recommend using small seedless eggplants(6-8)for this dish. thanks for visiting!

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  6. beautiful recipe! i smell it before i even cook it! the cinnamon is an interesting twist to the traditional recipe my momon makes but i will try it. khalee mamnoon azita!

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  7. Anonymous, Khahesh mikonam and thank you for visiting and commenting! Try it with cinnamon, it adds some aroma and flavor to the dish. Let me know how you like it but there's nothing like Momon's cooking!

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  8. Hi,

    This looks delicious, but how big is the can of tomato sauce? A small can?

    Thanks!

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  9. Anonymous, I use a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce for this recipe. Thanks for the question.

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  10. I think this is the best recipe for bademjan I have found online, but i like to finish the dish as follows:
    Layer the eggplant between two layers of the tomato meat stew.
    Cover with thinly sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with cinnamon. Then cook in oven at 350 deg. celcius for 30 min or so.

    Thanks,

    Ahsan

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  11. Ahsan - that would be equal to 662 degrees F.

    Most ovens in the US are F. I think you meant to finish at 350 degrees F.

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  12. Whats Turmeric in Persian?

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  13. Anonymous, turmeric translates to zardchoobeh in Persian.

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  14. I LOVE LOVE your blog. You have no idea how many times my Persian bf has asked me to cook Persian dishes because he misses his culture. I not Iranian, and your website is going to be so useful. I can't wait to start trying your recipes.

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  15. Hi Azita...lovely blog, fell inlove with Persian food since the first time my Iranian friend brought the eggplant dish as well as the spinach with chickpeas and spaghetti stew dish. We have simialar dish with spinach and lentils with sauteed onions, chilies and spices...will try your other dishes and let you know.....

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  16. Can't wait to try this recipe when I have a bunch of eggplant again- always looking for more ways to use eggplant. This looks great!

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  17. Do you add the eggplant 1 hour after cooking the stew?

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  18. Anonymous, I add the fried eggplant slices about an hour after cooking the stew or when the meat is cooked. Then I'll let the stew simmer gently so the flavors blend together.

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  19. i brush eggplants with egg whites before frying to stop them from gobbling too much oil

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  20. My sister recommended your blog to me, yesterday.
    She is married to an Iranian man and she's cooked me this eggplant dish, which is delicious!
    I'm going to try it myself, as well as some of the meat dishes.
    I love the flavours of Iranian cooking, and it's not a style very well known in Australia.

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  21. Hi Azita. I'm wondering if it is necessary to remove the bitterness from the eggplant by soaking them in water or by sprinkling salt on them as most recipes say. I only encounter this step in Persian cookbooks. I've been making eggplant dishes for many years without doing these steps and I'm not sure it's necessary. Thank you for your opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Salting the eggplants was necessary because most of time they were bitter back home. I still do salt the large eggplants, especially before frying them for khoresh bademjan.

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  22. This is absolutely the best site for Persian recipes! I have been making Persian dishes for years, with my very first Persian cookbook being "In A Persian Kitchen" by Maideh Mazda. Today, I am making Kashkeh Bademjun for my daughter and her husband as they love it!

    Last Sunday, I made the very best Khoresht Bademjun ever and my family thoroughly enjoyed it along with mast va esfanaj!

    I'm also fortunate to have had a wonderful mother-in-law who also taught me how to perfect my rice cooking, make Khoresht Fesenjun, Kufteh, and so many other dishes.

    I am also fortunate to have lived in Iran and experienced the culture and cuisine first hand.

    Thank you for this fabulous place to find wonderful Persian recipes.

    Paula

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  23. I love these recipes, I used to cook alot of Persian food and its great to see these recipes again. I love this one, but am now vegetarian, I think it will still be amazing. Thanks for sharing your amazing knowledge and culture. Peace, lee (www.thebeachhousekitchen.wordpress.com) PS - I am making this right now!

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  24. Hi Azita,
    What can I use to substitute the sour grapes?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, you can use dried Persian lime (limoo amani/omani) or lime juice.

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  25. Dear Azita Khanoom,
    Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to create this blog - you have a natural teaching ability that I genuinely appreciate.
    I'm an Iranian born Aussie living in China. I was always curious to learn cooking from my mother, but she always shooed me out of the kitchen (I guess my questions annoyed her - haha). Your wonderful site has allowed me to reignite my passion for Persian cuisine...
    Anyway, I have a question for you. Instead of boiling/peeling the tomatoes, can I simply grate them (which gets rid of the skin), or is the cooking process important for the flavour? Also, as you can imagine, grating the tomatoes leaves one with a LOT of excess tomato-juice - should I use that or drain it before adding to the pot?
    Sorry for such a long-winded question. Hope you can help.
    Sincerely grateful (excuse the pun ;P)
    Vaf

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    Replies
    1. Dear Vaf, thank you very much for stopping by and for your kind words. You can use grated tomatoes(with juice), there's no need to drain.

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  26. Absolutely the best Persian recipe blog I've seen. I'm vegan, and make this dish frequently (minus the meat,of course) and it' always turns out amazing.Thank you!

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  27. Azita,

    If I wanted to use dried limes, how many do you think I would need? I've never used them before and am afraid they might overpower the dish. Love your blog! Thanks so much for your great recipes.

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    Replies
    1. Malgoshka, you'll need at least a couple of dried limes for this recipe. It won't overpower the dish. Just remember not use lime juice or sour grapes as listed in the table of ingredients. Thank you!

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  28. Thanks a lot! I'm getting started. :)

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  29. The khoresh turned out great! Just like the one I had at my Persian friend's house. Very proud of myself and very grateful to you, Azita. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Next on the line is fesenjun.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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  30. Something interesting I learned in Shiraz University: my "shomali" classmate was complaining about the quality of the eggplant stew in the cafeteria. Well, everyone complains about the quality of cafeteria food, but she specifically pointed out the one dish I loved the most. I asked what was the problem with it and she said "you can see the individual eggplants in the stew". She explained that the way she was used to having it was more like a mashed eggplant texture instead of individual eggplants. When I told her everyone I've ever known makes them individually, she was surprised. I'm assuming that's how it is in the northern region.

    Thank you for your blog!

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  31. Dear Azita,

    I owe you many thanks for a wonderful meal enjoyed tonight with my family, filled with warm sentimental memories! I hope my kids are now developing warm memories with Persian food!

    This recipe turned out delicious (despite my shortcuts...I didn't salt and rinse the eggplant because I read if you get fresh ones of the big varieties they sell in most grocery stores now, with shiny tight skin, it is not necessary. They are bred not to be bitter. I coated the eggplant slices with some olive oil and just browned them under the broiler in my oven. I also didn't peel my tomato...just cut and added. It is supposed to be healthy, and we don't mind the taste or texture.) If it helps anyone else, I added almost a teaspoon and a half of salt and it tasted good to me that way. People have different preferences for salt, and some canned tomato sauces are saltier than others, but sometimes it is helpful to have a general guideline as a starting point. Anyway, your instructions and beautiful blog were so easy to follow, and inspiring to make me want to cook, and the results were delicious. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    XO Love,

    Jen

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    Replies
    1. Dear Jen, thank you so much for your visit and kind words!xx

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  32. Hi,
    Is there any trick to stop the eggplants to absorb so much oil? that's my only problem with this dish.
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi, salting the eggplant will prevent it from absorbing too much oil.

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    2. ONe thing I do, maybe its a bit messy.. if I am frying eggplants in batches, the already fried ones are lying on kitchen paper or such and have fat on them, so I rub the raw ones on those to absorb some oil, and then dont use so much oil for frying them..

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  33. To S Elini: two other tricks to keep the egglpants from absorbing so much oil, are 1) slice vertically (the way that will give you the tallest slices). This is makes it so you are not exposing all those little hollow spaces inside the eggplant, which is where the oil goes. Think of an eggplant like a ton of miniature straws bundled together. If you cut it the normal way, you have a ton of little openings, making the eggplant like a sponge. 2) You can use something that lets you spray the olive oil onto the eggplant, allowing you to get more of an even coat.

    One more suggestion: I get a large jelly roll pan, spread a thin even layer of olive oil on it, then place the eggplant slices on it. I scoot the slices around, then remove them, add more oil, and do the opposite side of the slices. The oil won't be completely even on the eggplant slices, but that doesn't seem to matter. Then I brown the slices under the broiler.

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