Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Eggplant Stew (Khoresh Bademjan)

A friend of mine, Donna Pardue, responded to my recent spate of eggplant recipes by suggesting that I look into an Iranian eggplant stew called Khoresh Bademjan. She sent a partial recipe from one of her cookbooks, but I decided to base my attempt on a variant I found at the blog Turmeric and Saffron. I tweaked it a bit to remove any red meat from the recipe.

Yum! Split peas!

Pretty much, if it's a stew and isn't too heavy on the meat, then I am going to love it. And this was no exception. I really enjoyed how the eggplant browned up to make an interesting texture for chewing. Also, the ingredients melded together nicely.

Eggplant Stew (Khoresh Bademjan)

1 pound chicken
2 large eggplants, peeled, sliced and salted--with 2 tablespoons of salt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
3/4 cup yellow split peas, cleaned, washed
oil for sauteeing
1 can of tomato sauce
3-4 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
Juice of 1 lime, or to taste—or 2-3 table spoons sour grapes (ghooreh)

Trim eggplant, salt, and place in a large container of water -- enough water to cover. Put a large bowl on top of the eggplant to keep them submerged. Let soak 10 minutes. Then, rinse and pat dry.

Fry the dried eggplant in about 1/2 c of hot oil until the eggplant browns on all sides. Remove from oil and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.

Heat enough oil to saute. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic, chicken and all
dried spices. Cook until meat is browned on all sides.

Add split peas and fry 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and 3 c water. If this amount of liquid does not cover the other ingredients, add more liquid (tomatoes, sauce, or water). Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 60 minutes.

Add eggplant to the mixture, adding more water if necessary. Add lime juice and cook for 30 minutes, until meat is tender. Serve over hot rice.

Again, in researching this entry, I found dozens and dozens of variations on Khoresh Bademjan. Some called for standard American ingredients found in any Western supermarket; others called for some specialty items found in Persian markets. (In Austin, think Phoenicia or Pars on Burnet.) I made mine with standard Western ingredients because I didn't have the time to run to a specialty market. Some variants called for interesting spice mixes and, of course, the sour limes.

Farm box ingredients used: eggplant, onion, garlic

1 comment:

Azita said...

Looks delicious! I'm glad you gave it a try. Fantastic.