June 13, 2012

eggplant stew

Eggplant is one of my favourite vegetables.  Now that I'm pretty much off of meat, I appreciate eggplant even more because it really fills me up.

This recipe is another delicious Persian dish.  The pictures don't do it justice.  Does anyone have any tips on how to photograph stews?

Eggplant Stew (aka Gheimeh Bademjan)
adapted from Turmeric and Saffron

4 Chinese eggplants peeled, sliced and salted--with 2 tablespoons of salt
1 large onion, diced
3/4 cup yellow split peas, cleaned, washed, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
3 tablespoons oil for sautéing
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomato
water, 3-4 cups
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste—or 2-3 tablespoons sour grapes (ghooreh) or dried key limes (limoo amani)


  1. Place the salted eggplants in a colander for 30minutes in order to drain off any bitterness.
  2. Fry the eggplants in small batches until they are brown on both sides. Remove from oil and place on a thick paper towel to take out the excess oil.  You'll probably have to keep replenishing the oil because eggplant really absorbs the oil as it fries.
  3. In a large pot, heat the oil, add chopped onions, saute until translucent. Add in turmeric, salt and pepper. 
  4. Add dry split peas, fry for five minutes.  This will keep the peas more firm. 
  5. Add tomatoes and three cups of water to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium heat. 
  6. Add the fried eggplant to the mixture, adjust the seasoning and add more water if needed. 
  7. Add the lemon juice or the substitutes. 
  8. Cook for another 15 minutes. 
Serve hot over rice, with fresh herbs and yoghurt.


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