This Persian eggs with eggplant, turmeric, and tomatoes recipe is a dish originating from the northern part of Iran and is known as Mirza Ghassemi. Sponsored by Davidson’s Safest Choice® Pasteurized Eggs.
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.
What is Mirza Ghassemi?
Mirza Ghassemi 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. Ghassemi” 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!
Ingredients for Mirza Ghassemi
This is not an omelet or a classic breakfast skillet dish. Mirza Ghassemi 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 Ghassemi, I sauté the eggplant. No matter which variety of eggplant you use, you do need to salt your eggplant first to release the water. Otherwise, your dish will become soggy. So salt the eggplant and let it sit for an hour. Then use paper towels to pat them dry and squeeze out the remaining water.
This dish also includes onions, fresh tomatoes, turmeric and of course, garlic! Your kitchen will smell like a dream while you whip this up! The final touch is adding some whisked eggs and cooking it all together.
How to Serve Mirza Ghassemi
I like a chunkier textured Mirza Ghassemi, 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.
- 1 lb Japanese or baby eggplant
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp 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 tsp 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 tsp 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 1/2 tsp salt.
- Gently stir eggs with vegetables until eggs are fully cooked.
- Serve lavash, radishes and fresh herbs.
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Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 140 Total Fat: 8.4g Saturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 186mg Sodium: 270mg Carbohydrates: 9.9g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 5.2g Protein: 8g