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Persian-Inspired Eggplant Stew

Adapted from Khoresh Bademjan

This recipe was inspired by Khoresh Bademjan (Khor-ESHT Bahd-em-joon) which is a famous Persian dish that combines spices, eggplant, and tomatoes. It is traditionally made with lamb or beef, but this vegetarian version is just as savory and simple to make. It is even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld. The traditional recipe calls for dried black limes, which are difficult to find and costly. Using lime juice to finish the stew results in a similar tart taste. Serve with rice and other optional toppings for a well-rounded dish.

Serving Size:2 cups
Prep time:10 minutes
Cook time:80 minutes
Total time:90 minutes


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into slices about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 ounces no salt added tomato paste (1/2 of a small can)
  • 14.5-ounce can no salt added crushed tomatoes
  • 2½ cups of water
  • 1, 16-ounce can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Optional: Serve with cooked brown rice (Basmati preferred) and plain Greek yogurt.


For Pickled Vegetables

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Sear the eggplant in batches until brown and set aside. Add more oil to the pan as you need.
  3. Add onions to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Add turmeric and cinnamon and cook for 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  5. Add tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine. Cook uncovered for 10 –15 minutes.
  6. Add seared eggplant, water, chickpeas (optional), salt, and pepper to the pot. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  8. Add lime juice.
  9. Optional: serve over rice with plain Greek yogurt.
Persian Eggplant Stew label
Nutrition information does not include brown rice or yogurt.