Khoresh Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Stew)

– 3 eggplants – 1 Tbsp salt – 1 lemon


The Eggplants

– 2 Tbsp olive oil – 1.1 lb beef or lamb, in bite size pieces – 1 large onion chopped – 1 small clove garlic finely chopped – 1 tsp turmeric – 2 Tbsp concentrated tomato paste – 7 oz canned chopped tomatoes – 1 cup water – 1 Tbsp liquid saffron pinch of saffron, ground or crumbled, then soaked in 1 Tbsp hot water – ½ tsp salt – 1 limoo amani OR substitute with the juice of 1 lime OR 1 tsp sumac – freshly ground black pepper – a small amount of chopped parsley optional

Everything Else

Get a large bowl and fill it with cool tap water. Add 1 Tbsp of salt in and squeeze the juice of half the lemon.

Let's Prep the Eggplants

Peel the eggplants. Then slice them into long pieces, about 1 cm thick. You'll get about 5-6 pieces per eggplant.

Place the sliced eggplants in the bowl of water. Place a small saucer on the eggplants and weigh down with a can of food, so all the eggplants are submerged in the salted, lemony water. Leave for 20 minutes.

1. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil on medium high heat, and sauté the chopped onions for 2 minutes.

Let's start the Cooking

2. Add the garlic and turmeric and stir for 20 seconds.

3. Add the beef and stir vigorously, breaking the mince up, as well as coating it with all those onions. Do this for 3 minutes.

4. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, water and saffron water in. Stir and bring it to a boil.

With the back of a knife, pound the limoo amani (dried lime), so that it breaks up into 2-3 pieces. Scoop all this up and add to the stew. Don’t worry, the lime will soften and be perfectly edible. Once the stew has come to a boil, reduce the heat right down and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is just cooked. It will still be cooking for another 20 minutes with the eggplants, so don’t overcook it at this stage.


Rinse and pat dry the eggplants. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each eggplant with olive oil and place under the grill (broiler) on high. Grill for 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Back to the eggplants

1. When the beef is done, add the eggplants to the stew, bring back to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the eggplants are fully cooked and soft.

Finishing cooking the Khoresh

2. Check the seasoning, and add more salt if you think it needs it. Be careful when you stir the salt in, don’t break up the super soft eggplants.

3. Add some freshly ground black pepper and top with parsley if you like, and serve with some plain white rice, or some Saffron Rice.