Savory Khoresht Bademjan: Persian Eggplant Stew


Khoresht Bademjan, a beloved Persian stew, showcases the rich flavors of tender eggplant simmered in a tomato-based sauce, often accompanied by succulent pieces of meat or kept vegetarian. This hearty and aromatic dish is perfect for any meal, offering a comforting blend of spices and textures that captivate the senses. Whether served over fluffy basmati rice or with fresh bread, Khoresht Bademjan is a true taste of Persian culinary tradition.

Savory Khoresht Bademjan: Persian Eggplant Stew

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 6
  • Serving Size: 1 bowl (approximately 300g)

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 350 kcal
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 600mg


  • 4 medium eggplants (about 2 lbs / 900g), peeled and cut into halves
  • 1 lb (450g) beef or lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces (optional for vegetarian version)
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (480ml) beef or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) brewed saffron (a pinch of saffron threads steeped in hot water)
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

Method of Preparation

  1. Sprinkle the eggplant halves with salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture and bitterness. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Fry the eggplants until golden brown on all sides. Remove and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  3. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
  4. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the beef or lamb pieces, turmeric, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Cook until the meat is browned on all sides.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  7. Pour in the beef or vegetable broth and brewed saffron. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the meat is tender.
  8. Gently add the fried eggplants to the pot, ensuring they are submerged in the sauce. Add the lemon juice.
  9. Cover and simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  10. Serve the Khoresht Bademjan hot, garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro. It pairs beautifully with steamed basmati rice or fresh bread.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • For a less oily dish, you can bake the eggplants instead of frying them.
  • Ensure the eggplants are well-cooked before adding them to the stew to avoid bitterness.
  • Adjust the consistency of the stew by adding more broth if it becomes too thick during cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make Khoresht Bademjan vegetarian?

  • Yes, simply omit the meat and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

How do I store leftovers?

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove to preserve the texture and flavor.

Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes?

  • Yes, you can substitute fresh tomatoes with canned diced tomatoes. Use about 2 cups of canned tomatoes.

Enjoy the rich, savory flavors of Khoresht Bademjan, a classic Persian eggplant stew that brings warmth and comfort to your table. Whether you enjoy it with tender meat or as a vegetarian delight, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire. Savor the blend of spices and the tender, flavorful eggplant in every bite, and create a memorable dining experience for your family and friends.