In Persian cuisine, this khoresh (Persian stew) is typically prepared as two separate dishes – Khoresh-e-Bademjan (eggplant stew) and Khoresh-e-Qaymeh (split pea stew). Each is made with meat and is a tomato-based stew. Each are incredibly popular dishes.
To be honest, however, I did not like Khoresh-e-Bademjan as a child. The texture of the eggplant, the taste of the meat juices, the red color of the stew, and I could not ignore there was an animal in my food. I only began to enjoy this dish once it was prepared vegetarian.
Now, my mom and I combine the ingredients of Khoresh-e-Bademjan with Khoresh-e-Qaymeh for a hearty, delicious, plant-based dish with mushroom, eggplant, split peas and French fries! Who needs meat?! My kids enjoy this combo khoresh, especially the French fries on top. 🙂 My son adds ketchup.
The eggplant in this dish can be prepared in two different methods (baked or fried) depending on your tolerance for cooking with oil. I think the frying method below tastes better, but the baking method is healthier.
Method 1 – Baking the Eggplant: Spray a baking sheet with oil. Lightly coat the peeled and cut eggplant with oil and place on the baking sheet. Bake at 350 F until golden brown on both sides.
Method 2 – Frying the Eggplant: Add 2 Tbsp. oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the peeled and cut eggplant, and fry until golden brown on both sides (adding more oil as needed – typically another 1-2 Tbsp. of oil).
- 2 cups chopped mushroom
- 2/3 cup split peas (soaked in warm water for at least 1 hr)
- 3 Japanese eggplants (peeled and cut in long, thin slices)
- Cooking oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup tomato purée
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. dried lime powder (Should be available at Persian, Indian, Afghan, or other international market)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Prepare the eggplant according to the baking or frying method above. Set aside.
- Add 1 Tbsp. oil to a medium pot on medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.
- Add the spices (except the dried lime powder) and stir.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5-10 minutes until caramelized.
- Add the tomato puree and tomato paste and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add the water and the split peas and the dry lemon powder. Stir, cover and cook until the split peas are tender (about 30 minutes).
- Assemble the khoresh for baking – in a medium glass baking dish, assemble half the fried/baked eggplant. Pour the stew over it. Place the remaining fried/baked eggplant on top. Cover with foil (poke a few holes in the foil with a fork), and cook for 40 to 50 minutes until the eggplant is tender and well cooked.
- Garnish with French fries! You can make your own French fries or use ready-made French fries. We used the Pik-Nik ready-made shoestring French fries in the picture above. 🙂
- Serve with Persian rice. Noosh-e-Jan (Enjoy!)
SERVES 4-5 people