A taste of Iran: Khoresh-e Bademjoon

June 8, 2020 - 19:30

TEHRAN – Food is a wonderful vehicle for discovering Iran, with its fabulous regional produce featuring in stews, rice dishes, kebabs and desserts.

Bademjoon, sometimes spelled bademjan or bademjaan, is a quintessential summer dish in Iran. It is also served during wintertime using frozen ones! Khoresh-e Bademjoon is an eggplant stew with meltingly tender meat in a thick, tomato based sauce and perfect served with some rice. Find suggestions could also be found for a vegetarian version.

Fresh lemon juice and ghooreh, or unripe grapes, lighten the stew and lend a particularly tart punch. Those sharp flavors contrast nicely with the soft, comforting texture of the eggplant and tomatoes, which grow silky as they cook down.

This dish is particularly delicious with a piece of crunchy tahdig (the pan-fried layer of crust at the bottom of the rice pot and, in fact, it literally translates as "the bottom of the pot" in Persian). Rice or polo is, however, the cornerstone of every Persian meal.

No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is usually set with sabzi khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes, and scallions, which are eaten raw and by the handful. Persian cuisine is, above all, about balance — of tastes and flavors, textures and temperatures.


1 pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 5cm cubes

1 heaped tsp ground turmeric

fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 to 8 Japanese eggplants

5 tbsp olive oil, plus ¼ cup olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

4 small or 2 medium tomatoes (about 1kg)

3 tbsp tomato paste

¼ tsp crumbled saffron threads

¼ to ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 to 4 limes)

⅓ cup fresh or frozen unripe grapes (ghooreh), optional


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