The cool summer wreaked havoc on my tomatoes and okra; I had a harvest, but it was very small. It totally destroyed my eggplants, I did not even get one. I was so looking forward to trying this recipe, but kept waiting to see if I would get enough okra. Finally, I decided to supplement both the okra and the eggplant with ones local farmers had better luck with than I did.
Taste-wise, this is very similar to my Khoresh Bademjun – Eggplant Stew. But the approach and texture is different. This is more like the Khoresh Bademjun my sister-in-law makes. I liked this, a lot. I think I prefer mine, but when I want a change of pace, I will definitely come back to this approach.
Persian Eggplant and Okra Stew
from Turmeric and Saffon
1 1/2 pound meat (lamb or beef), washed, trimmed and cubed
8 small size eggplants, peeled, leave whole or cut in half
1 pound okra, wash and trim the top
1-2 large tomatoes, skin removed and finely diced (from the garden)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (from the garden)
2-3 freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of red pepper *optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Place peeled eggplants in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them drain for a couple of hours before cooking.
Heat 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the eggplants until golden brown. Remove and place fried eggplants on a paper towel.
In the same skillet fry okra in 2-3 tablespoons of oil on medium heat until lightly brown. Set aside.
In a large stew pot saute the chopped onions on medium-high heat until golden brown. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir well, add the minced garlic and saute for another few minutes.
Add the meat, salt, pepper and brown the meat on all sides.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and add enough water to cover the meat by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium-low heat or until the meat is tender.
Add the lime juice to the stew, stir and gently place the fried eggplants and okra in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. Add a little more water if necessary. Cover and simmer for another 30-40 minutes on low heat.
To serve, gently spoon the stew in a large serving bowl. Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!