Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoreshteh Qiemeh Bademjoon)

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



  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.

Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoreshteh Qiemeh Bademjoon)  Detail

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 3 hours
Inactive Time: 30 min
Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 2 cups

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.