This is one of my favorite Persian foods, it’s a pretty broad statement really, because I can say the same thing about so many different Persian recipes but this is one I probably make more than any other, it’s so simple and tasty and although I made it with lamb it can easily be meatless using just the eggplant and it is just as delicious. I will be honest, posting a recipe for Persian Food makes me a bit nervous, mainly because there are some incredibly awesome Persian cooks who follow this blog, Fae and Azita as an example, I often misspell the names of the dishes and am always insecure about my method or recipe. I did learn to cook Persian food from a friend of mine from Iran, I also have found that like so many other countries, the recipes and ingredients and methods can vary depending on what city or region you are from.
That said this is my way of making this delicious stew or Khoresht. What really gives it the distinct flavor IMHO is the dried Persian limes. You can add lemon but using the dried limes give the stews a distinct flavor that you cannot replicate using any other ingredient. I like to serve this with rice made the Persian way see recipe here and yogurt with cucumber, mint and lemon juice.
Khoresht e Bademjan
Serves 6 depending on serving size
2 lbs lamb stew meat
1 onion chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 onion diced
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 dried Persian Limes or juice of one lemon
approximately 3 cups water(enough water to cover the meat, eyeball it)
4 small Italian eggplant or 1 regular eggplant peeled (if you like) and cut into rounds.
salt and pepper to taste
Chop the onion, If you can find the dried limes poke holes with the tip of a knife (2-3 slits or holes)
Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan or dutch oven, add chopped onion cook until translucent, add the turmeric. Cook lamb meat until browned. Remove from pan and add the can of tomato paste and cook until paste starts to caramelize approximately 2 minutes. Add lamb back into saucepan, season with salt and pepper, add the water and the dried limes or lemon juice.
Cook on medium heat for approximately 60-90 minutes or until the meat is fork tender and the.Sauce has thickened While the stew is cooking prepare the eggplant, Slice your eggplant into approximately 1/4 inch thick slices, salt and let sit on paper towels for approximately 30 minutes you will see the eggplant start to sweat.Rinse, pat dry and fry in oil until browned, set on paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil. Alternately you can bypass the frying and roast in the oven, lay eggplant slices on parchment, brush each side with olive oil and bake in 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes. After 15 minutes turn each over they should be nicely browned and roast for another 15 minutes.
When stew is done add the eggplant and cook on low for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat.