Khoresht Bademjan; Eggplant Stew
- 1Lb Veal Shank/Beef cut into 1.5 inch cubes
- 1 large onion – chopped
- 1 or 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 4 Chinese Eggplants (sliced lengthways)
- 4 tbsp grapeseed or any vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup tomatoes (can or fresh)
- Dried Persian lemon(limoOmani) or 1tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 30ml bloomed saffron*
- Salt to taste
- 4 cups basmati rice
- 7 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 30ml bloomed saffron*
- 8 tbsp melted butter, plus more as needed
- Pita bread or potatoes for the bottom (tahdig)
- Yogurt or Torshi as side condiments
This recipe is brought to you by Polina Shadman | Polina's Nostalgic Treats | www.polinasnostalgictreats.com | IG: @polinas_nostalgic_treats_
Cooking the Stew
- Wash and peel eggplants;
- Slice eggplants lengthways .5 cm wide
- Arrange on a colander – sprinkle salt on both sides and let sit on the counter
- Chop onions and fry in oil until translucent; add in garlic
- Add meat cubes and toss until brown
- Add spices (turmeric, pepper, salt) fry for a minute or two
- Add in a bit of water and bring to a boil and simmer
- Go back to eggplants and pat dry slices
- Heat oil in a skillet and lightly fry eggplants until golden; arrange it on a paper towel to degrease
- At this point, add tomatoes to the meat; add in the dried lemon (not the lemon juice if not using dried lemon)
- Mix the tomato paste in some hot water to make it soluble then add to the meat; stir and cover – allow the meat to cook.
- Once the meat has cooked, carefully arrange the eggplants over the stewed meat, add the lemon juice now; add it in the brewed saffron over top; spoon over some of the broth over the eggplants, cover and simmer until tender.
Cooking the Rice
- Rinse rice with cold water, repeat 3 times. Soak rice in cold water for 2-6 hours.
- Bring 4 cups of water & 1/8 cup of salt, to a boil. Drain the soaking rice and add to the boiling pot. Bring back to a gentle boil, & cook rice until al-dente (5-10min) depending on the quality of the rice. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse quickly under cold water.
- Place a wide Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add 3 tbsp. melted butter, swirling it around to cover the bottom of the pot and up sides.
- Spread the pita or potatoes evenly across the bottom of the pot. This will be the tahdig (crispy rice) layer. Spoon in the remaining rice over the tahdig layer. Drizzle butter-hot water mixture over rice.
- Set the pot lid on a large clean kitchen towel, fold the edges of the towel up over the lid, and cover the pot with the lid. Cook over low -medium heat and cook until the rice is tender and the tahdig is golden and crisp (45-60 minutes.)
- If using a non-stick pot, you can flip the rice over a platter that fits 1 inch larger to the opening of the pot – otherwise using a big flat spoon gently serve the rice onto a platter – once you get to the bottom, gently lift out tahdig, break it into pieces, and place it around the edges of the rice
- Recipes have variations, in some recipes, for the sour taste of the stew, fresh sour grapes (ghooreh) are used. Ghooreh is the young unripe fruit of the Thompson grapes or other similar seedless grapes that are harvested early in the summer The unripe fruit may be stored frozen, dried (ground), or pickled in a special brine.
- While the stew is cooking check the stew from time to time, if needed add extra water – but not too much. A thicker broth is preferred.
- Tomatoes are optional
- *Blooming the Saffron: use 1/4tspoon of ground saffron threads, put in a cup, and add either 1 ice cube to melt or 30ml of hot water
- **If you like more broth you can add a bit more water – it is a matter of preference – but make sure you don’t add too much water because you don’t want a soupy broth.