Khoresht-e Gheymeh Bademjan – lamb and aubergine stew

I first tasted Khoresht-e Gheymeh Bademjan during a family visit in Persia. I just loved the taste of it so much, I told everyone I met.

What I didn’t know at this point was that Persians like to serve their guests in abundance and consider it their duty to provide more food than you can eat. This meant that I ended up eating Gheymeh Bademjan for lunch, tea and dinner many days in a row as H’s aunties all wanted to cook something for me they knew I liked.

Now Gheymeh Bademjan is a dish you can make in stages which is really good when you are caring for a six-month-old who demands your attention in the kitchen at the same time!

If I’m cooking it, I usually get up before little C does to cook the meat in advance. That way I only need to add the peas and bademjan (aubergine) which proves very useful as my little companion doesn’t have a lot of patience at the moment. The recipe below will serve four people.

Method:

  1. Fry the aubergines in 1/2 cup of hot oil until brown on both sides. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to take out the excess oil.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for five minutes before peeling off the skin, then chop or slice them thinly. You could use a tin of chopped tomatoes instead.
  3. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat, add chopped onions, saute until translucent then add the garlic, stir well. Put in turmeric, meat, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly. Cook until meat is brown on all sides.
  4. Add the dry split peas, fry for five minutes, this would keep the peas more firm in the khoresht.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and three cups of water to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium heat.
  6. Add the fried aubergine to the mixture, adjust the seasoning and add more water if needed.
  7. Add the lime juice or two tablespoons of sour grape juice (ab-ghooreh). Sour grape juice is good for lowering high blood pressure/cholesterol.
  8. Cook for another 30 minutes or until meat is tender.

Tip: Although you serve gheymeh bademjan with rice, I top the dish with a few chips. The chips really complement the gheymeh and soak up all of those lovely juices. A truly worthy addition.

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