Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon)

Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon) is a classic Persian stew made with fresh eggplant and tomatoes.

Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon) by FamilySpice.com

To say that I am lagging and falling behind in everything is an understatement. I remember when I was working in advertising, putting in 60 hours a week, getting calls at night or over the weekend when things went wrong and I thought I was busy. I was single. Ha! Ha! Ha! I had no idea what busy meant. I say that to my young cousins who are working in the real world now and to anyone who doesn’t have children. You really don’t know busy until you have kids. I still fight the fact that I don’t get everything done, whether it’s the laundry, the dishes, the errands, the cleaning, the website or the other hundreds of items on my to-do list. It’s a miracle that I am able to work on this blog a couple times a week!

Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon) by FamilySpice.com

We had the pleasure of having some friends over for dinner and they wanted to sample Persian food. I made this wonderful meal … back in October… and now I am finally posting it. Of course, I won’t go on and on about the hundred other recipes that I have made and haven’t had a chance to post yet. Let’s stick to this one for now. Small steps, small goals.

Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon) by FamilySpice.com

This Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon) is a classic dish in Persian cuisine. I adore Persian stews because they feature wonderful flavor combinations and vegetables. This is a tomato-based stew and it’s preparation is very similar to several other Persian stews. I made this eggplant stew with beef stew meat (pictured above), but I have also done it with lamb shanks and chicken (pictured below). It can easily be adapted for vegetarians, too.

Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon) by FamilySpice.com

You can also use the many forms of eggplant, too: the large American versions, the small Italian sized, even the long Chinese eggplants. I’ve made stews with all of them at one point in time. So this version uses the flavorful mini baby eggplants.

For the sour factor, again you have several options. Iranians love our dried limes and you can use them, in powdered form or whole. If you can’t find these limes, you can also use lemon juice. Another source of sour are pickled sour grapes, or goureh. Sounds strange, but these bite-sized bits of sour and delicious in this dish. It is the preferred form of sour for my family’s eggplant stew.

Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon) by FamilySpice.com

And with most Persian stews, they taste better the next day. This is definitely a dish that you can make ahead 2 days in advance and just reheat for your dinner party. And for me, making a spectacular dish over the course of a couple days, helps me out a lot. Have you ever tried to get anything done in the house with three kids and a hundred different interruptions? I swear that my being on the telephone or computer is a magnet for the kids, drawing them to me from all parts of the house, like a radar: Find Mommy! Find Mommy! Find Mommy!

Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon) by FamilySpice.com

Well, I suppose I will find more time when my baby Princess starts kindergarten in the fall. But, I know I will be a sobbing mess then, so I will enjoy these interruptions and delays for as long as I can!

Enjoy!

Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoreshteh Qiemeh Bademjoon)

This Persian stew highlights baby eggplants and yellow split peas. It can easily be adapted and made with beef stew meat, lamb shanks, chicken or even vegetarian. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice

Ingredients:

  • 9 baby eggplant
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 2 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, dried
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour, (omit for gluten-free option)
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 14 oz beef broth
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup yellow split peas, rinsed in water & drained
  • 3 limes, dried, cut in half*
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, canned
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 3/4 cup pickled sour grapes (goureh)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Directions:

  1. Peel skin, but keep stem intact, and cut in half lengthwise:
    • 9 baby eggplant
  2. Sprinkle with:
    • 1 TBS salt
  3. Place eggplants in colander over the sink for at least 30 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl mix together:
    • 2 lb beef stew meat
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric, dried
    • 2 tsp all-purpose flour , (omit for gluten-free option)
  5. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add:
    • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  6. When oil is hot add:
    • 1 onion , chopped
  7. Cook until onions start to soften, approximately 7 minutes and add:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric, dried
  8. Cook for a 2 minutes, then add stew meat and brown all sides, approximately 7 minutes.
  9. Stir in:
    • 14 oz beef broth
  10. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits of meat from the bottom of the pot.
  11. Stir in:
    • 2 TBS tomato paste
    • 1/4 cup yellow split peas , rinsed in water & drained
  12. If using dried limes or lemon juice, add to the stew now:
    • 3 limes, dried , cut in half*
    • 14 oz diced tomatoes, canned
  13. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Stew can be refrigerated 3-4 days before serving at this point. Flavor is enhanced the longer it sits.
  14. When eggplants are beading with sweat, after 30 minutes, squeeze dry with paper towels.
  15. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  16. Fry eggplants in batches until both sides are browned.
  17. Add more olive oil as needed.
  18. Drain fried eggplants on paper towels to remove excess oil and reserve.
  19. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  20. Stir into the stew:
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
    • 3/4 cup pickled sour grapes (goureh)
  21. In a 13x9-inch pyrex dish, pour stew in.
  22. Layer fried eggplant over it.
  23. Layer over eggplant:
    • 3 Roma tomatoes , cut into 1/4-inch slices
  24. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Serve with basmati rice.

Cooking Tips: You can also substitute the beef stew meat (feature picture) with 3lbs of lamb shanks (with bone) or with 4 lb fryer chicken (cut up) (pictured above). Increase baking time in the oven to 45-60 mins. For vegetarian stew, substitute beef broth with any vegetable broth and increase yellow split peas to 1/2 cup. * Substitute dried limes for 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.

Source:

Laura Bashar

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 8

Cook Time:

Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoreshteh Qiemeh Bademjoon) Detail

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3 Responses to Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon)

  1. Thao Le at #

    Hi, I like your website. Your way of writing and your strength of handling family and working.
    My husband is Persian and I like to learn making Persian food then we can enjoy together. Thanks for a wonderful website.

    • Laura at #

      Thank you! I know what it’s like to cook for a Persian man – GOOD LUCK! LOL!

  2. Gabe at #

    Thanks for the delicious recipe! My two persian friends always say this dish is the worst, but when I prepared it for them they were blown away! Guess that’s what happens when you don’t know how to cook it properly 🙂

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