Mirza Ghassemi is a Persian dish made with eggs, eggplant, turmeric and garlic and originates from the northern part of Iran.
When I was a kid, most of my experience with Persian food was limited to rice, kabob and some khoresht (stews). We did not live near any Persian or middle eastern markets, nor were there any Persian restaurants near us.
It wasn’t until I was in college, living my uncle (who is an amazing cook himself) that I not only learned to speak Farsi, but I also began trying new Persian meals.
If I didn’t learn how to cook a Persian dish from my mom, grandmother or uncle, I learned from a Persian cookbook. This was before the internet and the wonderful world of recipe websites and food blogs.
When I got married, my mother-in-law introduced me to a slew of different regional Persian foods.
Why you have to make this recipe
Mirza Ghasemi is one dish I discovered several years ago during my Persian food self-exploration. My cousin, Soudabeh, made it for a family brunch when I came to visit. Translated, it means “Mr. Ghasemi” which tells you nothing about the dish!
It originates from the northern part of Iran, the Gilan Province near the Caspian Sea. Many of the dishes from this area include garlic—a whole lot of garlic.
Because of the humid environment, you supposedly don’t smell the garlic in the food or from one’s breath in this area. And this egg dish has plenty of garlic!
This is not an omelet or a classic breakfast skillet dish. Mirza Ghasemi is filled with lots of vegetables. The first of which is eggplant.
You can use the large American variety, but I prefer the smaller varieties, like baby eggplant or Japanese and Italian eggplants. They are firm, full of flavor and tend to have less water than the large versions of eggplant.
You can grill the eggplant, roast it, or sauté it. In this version of Mirza Ghasemi, I sauté the eggplant. I like a chunkier textured Mirza Ghasemi, so I keep the vegetables in larger pieces. But many people prepare this dish completely differently.
They bake the eggplant until it is soft, cook it with the tomatoes until everything melts together. The eggs get mixed in and the whole dish comes together like a dip.
It is usually served as a side dish, an appetizer or a light lunch. But because it is an egg dish, many of us consider it a wonderful meal for breakfast. Either way you make it, be sure to serve it with lavash or pita bread, fresh herbs, and radishes you have one amazing feast that appeals to all of your senses.
See my Mirza Ghassemi Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Ingredients you need
- Eggplant: Although you can use the large eggplants, I prefer the smaller baby or Japanese eggplants. These have fewer seeds and are more firm with less water.
- Tomatoes: You can use any type of tomatoes, just be sure they are flavorful.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic and not garlic powder as the garlic flavor is very important in this dish.
- Onion: I use regular brown onions, but you could use sweet vidalia onions, too.
- Eggs: Although the recipe calls for large eggs, you can use any size eggs.
- Extra virgin olive oil: You could sauté the vegetables in regular boring canola oil, but olive oil is not only healthier for you, but it also adds great flavor.
- Seasonings: Ground turmeric and salt
- Serve with lavash or pita, radishes and fresh herbs like scallions, basil, tarragon.
1. Cut eggplant into 1-inch pieces and place in colander set over a large bowl. Coat eggplant with salt and set it aside until beads of water appear all over the eggplant, about 1 hour. Using paper towels, squeeze water from eggplant chunks. This helps remove the excess water and keeps it from tasting bitter.
2. In large frying pan over medium-high heat add olive oil. When oil is hot, add eggplant and sauté until it starts to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Stir in onions and turmeric. Continue cooking until onions soften.
4. Stir in garlic and tomatoes and continue cooking until tomatoes soften.
5. In small bowl, whisk together eggs with some salt. Gently stir eggs with vegetables until eggs are fully cooked. Serve lavash, radishes and fresh herbs.
Recipe tips and FAQs
As I mentioned before, this dish is usually served as a side dish, an appetizer or a light lunch. But it also makes a wonderful breakfast or brunch meal. Serve with flat bread and lots of fresh herbs.
If you want more of a dip consistency, you can puree the cooked vegetables with a hand blender right there in the pan and then add the eggs.
Eggplant (like mushrooms) are filled with water. By salting your cut eggplant before cooking it helps to release the water, making it easier to brown and sauté. Let it sit for an hour then use paper towels to pat them dry and squeeze out the remaining water.
Mirza Ghassemi is an egg dish from the northern part of Iran, the Gilan Province near the Caspian Sea. It is made with eggplant, onions, turmeric and lots of garlic. It can be served as an appetizer or main dish. Either way you make it, be sure to serve it with lavash or pita bread, fresh herbs, and radishes you have one amazing feast that appeals to all of your senses.
- 1 lb Japanese or baby eggplant
- 2 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 6 large eggs
- fresh herbs (scallions, basil, tarragon)
- Cut eggplant into 1-inch pieces and place in colander set over a large bowl.
- Coat eggplant with 2 teaspoon salt and set it aside until beads of water appear all over the eggplant, about 1 hour.
- Using paper towels, squeeze water from eggplant chunks.
- In large frying pan over medium-high heat add 3 teaspoon olive oil.
- Add eggplant and sauté until it starts to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in onions and turmeric.
- Continue cooking until onions soften.
- Stir in garlic and tomatoes.
- In small bowl, whisk together eggs with ½ teaspoon salt.
- Gently stir eggs with vegetables until eggs are fully cooked.
- Serve lavash, radishes and fresh herbs.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 8.4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 9.9gFiber: 4gSugar: 5.2gProtein: 8g
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