Iranian Eggplant Stew

This dish is known as Khoreshe Bademjan in Iran.  Khoreshe means roughly gravy or stew in Pharsi; bademjan means eggplant.  I lived in Teheran from 1958-1960 and I was introduced to some amazing food during our stay.  This dish is but one example and can be made with either beef or lamb.  It is equally good with both.  Traditionally it would have 1/3 cup of one of the following dried fruit added (only allowed on fruit rung of OWL, so it is not included below or in the nutritional info):  raisins, dried apricot halves, dried cherries, dried peach halves, or dried prunes.  In my pre-ANA days, I even used craisins in this successfully.  But now I make it without the fruit……though it is not nearly as good without, I have to admit.

I probably will not post a photo of this dish anytime soon, if at all, for two reasons:  I forgot to take one tonight when I cooked this 🙂 and it’s not a particularly attractive dish.  But truly it makes up for looks in the flavor department, believe me.  I have tried this using lean ground beef/lamb and that is good, too, but not how the Iranians cook it.

INGREDIENTS:

6 oz. eggplant

1½ lb. chuck

3 oz. onion, chopped

4 plum tomatoes, quartered

2 T. olive oil

3 sprigs fresh parsley

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. turmeric

pinch salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cut up chuck into 1½” cubes.  Cut eggplant into 1″ cubes (do not peel).  Brown meat in olive oil in oven-proof skillet.  Add onion and cook until begins to get transparent.  Add tomatoes and eggplant cubes.  Lower heat and cook 5 minutes, stirring often.  Add parsley and spices.  Stir in 1/2c. water.  Cover with tight-fitting lid and bake in 325º oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, approximately.  Eggplant should be soft but not disintegrated into the broth.   For yourself, serve  with steamed cauliflower.  For your non-ANA guests, serve it over steamed basmati rice alongside lengthwise sliced butter-sauteed banana halves.  Trust me, the sauteed bananas are to-die-for with this dish!  This one always WOWS the guests when they taste it, despite its goulash-like appearance.  This dish provides 125% RDA Vitamin B12 , 71% RDA Vitamin B6 and 124% RDA Zinc, along with high counts for several other essential nutrients!  Very Healthy dinner!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 4, each serving contains:

301 calories

12.7 g  fat

6.7 g  carbs

2.5 g  fiber

4.2 g  NET CARBS

39 g  protein

137 mg sodium

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