During a visit to my friend in San Diego, she took me to this wonderful international food market, Harvest. After being drawn in by the warm, fresh flatbreads, I spotted the warm foods…persian dish after persian dish! I was home! After explaining all the dishes to my friend, and telling her that most of them are on my blog, I went off to find the spices and herbs I was running low on.
I was also inspired to once again refine my khoresh bademjun – our beloved eggplant stew.
I had already figured out how to make it without frying the eggplant and have the taste come out right, but it didn’t look right with the cubed eggplant.
So, I decided to try again, could I bake slices of eggplant? Perhaps if I cut them thicker, about 1/2″ thick. That worked, they baked up well.
So, I was able to arrange and cook the dish as I would with fried eggplant slices.
Success! Eggplant Bademjun – healthy and delicious!
Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) without the oil “Take 2”
2 medium eggplants, or the equivalent amount of small eggplants
3 Tbsp Canola Oil, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb chicken or beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 can diced tomatoes or the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, about 2 large
1/2 cup hot water
Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.
Peel and slice the eggplant lengthwise, about 1/2” thick. Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes until browned. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the other 1 Tbsp oil. Add the chicken or beef and onions. Brown on all sides – do not overcook. After the meat is browned add turmeric and salt. Mix to combine.
Add a layer of tomatoes.
Add the water then cover with a layer of eggplants, covering the tomatoes and meat as completely as possible.
Cover and cook over very low heat for about 2 hours, check after 1 hour to see if more water is needed.
Serve with rice and pickled vegetables. Enjoy!
Serves 4 – 6.