Khoresh Bademjan, also called khoresht e bademjan, or bademjoon (Persian Eggplant Stew with Beef) is a classic Persian recipe loved by all the eggplant fans like my husband, who would gladly have it for dinner once a week without complaining about the repetition! Few days ago I had a request from another eggplant fan, a dear reader, for this khoresh and as luck would have it I had cooked and photographed this recipe just recently. So I decided to to move it up on my list, put the finishing touches and publish it. I want all of my readers to know how much I appreciate the kind comments and the ongoing support that you give me on a daily basis and I enjoy getting requests and would do my best to fulfill them if at all possible.
Bademjan or bademjoon is eggplant in Farsi and khoresh means stew and it is always served with rice. This is the stew that you would see at most traditional dinner parties. Kohresh Bademjan tastes great when it has some tartness to it. This could be accomplished by either of the following ingredients: Fresh lime (or lemon) juice, limoo amani (dried Persian lime), abghooreh (sour grape juice), or ghooreh (sour grapes). Other recipes that also benefit from limoo amani are, Khoresh Gheymeh and Khoresh Ghormeh Sabzi. I also use ghooreh in my Abgoosht recipe.
Fresh sour grapes (ghooreh) and pickled sour grapes are available in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean markets.
I have tried every one of the ingredients that I mentioned above in Khoresh Bademjan over the years, but my favorite is ghooreh. Ghooreh is the young unripe fruit of the Thompson grapes or other similar seedless grapes that is harvested earlier in summer and is very sour. The unripe fruit may be stored frozen, dried (ground), or pickled in special brine. The fresh sour grapes are available in some Middle Eastern markets in early summer. The pickled variety is available year round in these markets also. I have used the frozen sour grapes that I had picked from the grapevine in my yard last summer; they freeze well and keep beautifully for months!
I have used round Indian eggplants in this recipe, but the Italian eggplants work very well also.
Bake the eggplants by following the instructions on the How-To section of my blog. Cook the cubed beef with water, onion, turmeric powder and ground black pepper until tender. Discard the onion.
Fry the sliced onions in a large skillet. Add some tomato paste and saute a bit more. Next add salt and the broth of the cooked beef. Bring the sauce to a boil and add the cooked beef, baked eggplants, frozen sour grapes and the optional saffron. Bring the sauce to another boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
Enjoy Khoresh Bademjan with Steamed White Rice. As an eggplant fan, you will also enjoy my Vegetarian Khoresh Badejman.
- 1 pound cross rib roast or any similar beef, cubed
- ½ large onion, leave whole
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 cups water
- 1 large onion sliced thin and fried to golden brown in 3 TBSP vegetable oil (4 ounces fried onions)
- 3 TBSP tomato paste
- 7-10 medium Indian eggplants, peeled and baked (follow instructions for Baked Eggplant) or 5-6 medium Italian eggplants
- 1 cup frozen sour grapes (Do not thaw). May substitute with fresh or pickled sour grapes (drained), 4 crushed limoo amani (dried Persian lime), or 3-4 TBSP fresh lime, or lemon juice, or sour grape juice.
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp saffron powder (optional)
- Add the cubed beef, water, turmeric powder, ground black pepper, and the onion half to a medium stockpot. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low (must maintain a slow boil) and cook covered for 1-1 ½ hours, or until the beef is fork tender. Discard the onion. As an alternative method, if you own a pressure cooker, you may follow your owner’s manual for safety instructions and cook the above ingredients in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes after the pressure regulator starts to rattle. Discard the onion and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- Meanwhile bake the eggplants in a preheated oven according to the Baked Eggplant instructions on the How-To section of my blog.
- At the same time heat 3 TBSP vegetable oil In a 12-inch nonstick skillet and fry the thinly sliced onions over medium heat until golden brown.
- Add 3 TBSP tomato paste to the fried onions and saute over medium low heat for 5 minutes until aromatic.
- Add the broth of the cooked beef and 1 tsp kosher salt to the skillet and stir to incorporate with the onion mixture and bring it to a boil to make a sauce.
- Add the cooked beef, baked eggplants, sour grapes, and the optional saffron to the skillet and bring it to another boil. There should be about 1½ inches of sauce in the skillet, add extra water if needed but only in small amounts so the sauce is not watered down. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until the sauce has thickened and the beef and eggplants are very tender. Adjust salt to taste.
- Serve over Persian white rice.
You may substitute dried Persian lime (limoo amani) or fresh lemon juice or sour grape juice for sour grapes. This stew tastes best when it is on the tart side and you may adjust it to your taste by adding more or less of these sour ingredients.
Freezing the fresh sour grapes - Discard the stems. Pick through the unripe grapes and only freeze the perfect green ones. Add to a colander and wash with cold water. Allow all the water to drain for couple of hours. Add the sour grapes to a zipped freezer bag and freeze on a flat surface. Do not thaw, just use frozen when needed.