Time for a little Persian comfort food team. This dish is easy to make but does need some time on the stove to get all the flavors happening. The good news is it stays good all week so you’ll be set for non-stop healthy Persian snacking. Khoresh (stew) Bademjan (eggplant) is usually made with meat and fried eggplant. This version skips the meat and bakes the eggplant- much more my style.
There is a sweet and savory thing going on that I am into… you get a little of that warm cinnamon flavor, tangy pomegranate, hearty eggplant, caramelized onion…it also has turmeric in it which has infinity health benefits.
I served it over quinoa instead of Persian rice (sorry Dad) but feel free to pick the carb of your choice (farro, brown rice, bulger, etc).
- 2 pounds Japanese or baby eggplant, peeled and diced
- Grapeseed (or olive) oil
- 0.5 cup dried split peas
- 8 cups water
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 0.5 teaspoon turmeric
- 0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 0.25 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
- 0.25 chopped parsley
- Something to serve the stew over: rice, faro, I used quinoa
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the eggplant on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with one teaspoon salt and two to three tablespoons of oil.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until soft. Stir every 10 minutes to prevent sticking. Let cool.
- While your eggplant cooks, combine peas with water in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook, covered, for 40 minutes until peas are tender. Drain and season with one teaspoon salt.
- Heat four tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat and cook for an additional 30 minutes until onions are dark brown.
- Add eggplant, tomatoes, turmeric, cinnamon, molasses, honey, garlic, split peas and one teaspoon salt. Add stock and bring to boil, lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for one hour.
- Uncover stew and simmer for 15- 30 minutes until thick.
- Remove stew from heat and let rest for 15-30 minutes. Season with salt/pep and serve over rice or quinoa. Garnish with parsley.
Inspired by my Dad and Food52