February 01, 2012

Khoresh-e Bamieh-o-Bademjan - Eggplant and Okra Stew

Iranian Eggplant and Okra Khoresh (Stew)
This stew is a perfect combination of fresh okra and tender eggplant simmering in a luscious tomato sauce along with browned lamb cubes. Even if you're not too crazy about okra this delicious khoresh would most likely change your mind. There's something magical about the combination of eggplant, okra, tomatoes and lime juice. خورش بامیه و بادمجان Eggplant & Okra stew could also be made with غوره ghooreh (unripe grapes) if available where you live. The use of freshly squeezed lime juice, abghooreh (verjuice) or limoo amani (dried lemon) is key in Iranian cooking. The acidity of these ingredients definitely enhances the flavor of most dishes.

Eggplant is widely used in Persian cuisine, for instance some popular dishes include  khoresh bademjan, borani bademjan,  and kashke-bademjan . Whereas okra on the other hand, is mostly sauteed and cooked in khoresh bamieh, a popular southern dish. In our home my mother always made khoresh bamieh with tamarind sauce and the taste was so incredibly amazing that I haven't tried to change my mother's recipe and use any other sauce instead. However, since I'm adding eggplant to this dish I'll use a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a large tomato as a base with the addition of lime juice.

While preparing the ingredients remember not to cut into the okra and to gently trim the top, but leave the top cap and the bottom intact since this would prevent the stew from becoming slimy. Also, add the lime juice to the stew before adding the okra.

Khoresh-e Bamieh-o-Bademjan - Eggplant and Okra Stew

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 pound meat (lamb or beef), washed, trimmed and cubed
8 small size eggplant, peeled, leave whole or cut in half
1 pound okra, wash and trim the top
1-2 large tomatoes, skin removed and finely diced
2 large onions, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of red pepper *optional
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place peeled eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them drain for a couple of hours before cooking.
  2. Heat 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the eggplants until golden brown. Remove and place fried eggplant on a paper towel.
  3. In the same skillet fry okra in 2-3 tablespoons of oil on medium heat until lightly brown. Set aside.
  4. In a large stew pot saute the chopped onions on medium-high heat until golden brown. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir well, add the minced garlic and saute for another few minutes.
  5. Add the meat, salt, pepper and brown the meat on all sides.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and add enough water to cover the meat by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium-low heat or until the meat is tender.
  7. Add the lime juice to the stew, stir and gently place the fried eggplant and okra in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. Add a little more water if necessary. Cover and simmer for another 30-40 minutes on low heat.
To serve, gently spoon the stew in a large serving bowl. Serve hot with rice, salad shirazi and mast o khiar.



  1. Ive never heard about okra in persian cuisine, just had asked my husband and he sais is very popular.Perhaps next time I will make with okra. At the moment I made your shirini keshmeshi (3rd time), so delicious.

  2. salam

    Aleksandra, cela existe mais je ne sais pourquoi il y a des gens qui n'aiment pas, comme chez moi.
    Il faut dire, Aleksandra, que la cuisine persane est si riche d'une région à une autre que, peut-être, certaines personnes ne connaissent pas.


  3. oh yumm!!! A definite must try recipe, thank you!!!

  4. I've never liked okra's sliminess, but your recipe is so inviting, I'll have to give it another go. Thank you.

  5. Dear Azita,
    I gave a try to this stew. It turned out, I would say, very domestic, so simple, nice and tasty. It is not a firework but something that you can peacefully have once a week :-)
    Maybe because the taste is not really totally new to me.
    I used to cook similar dish but without a meat and instead of a lime juice with a tamarind so yours is a very good alternative that I will be returning probably many times.
    Thank you again. I do really like your blog and recipes.

    1. Dear Wioletta, thank you very much for your kind words. I'm so happy you enjoy my recipes and thanks for taking the time to let me know. I appreciate your comments and feedback.

  6. quick meals for dinnerOctober 26, 2012 at 5:29 AM

    Wonderful tasty dish! I tried this about two days ago looking for eggplant recipes. And since I love okra too I just had to make this. Great recipe.

  7. Really enjoyed this dish - I made it without the meat and it still turned out to be very yummy! Thank you for a lovely recipe!