Eggplant stew or khoresh-e bademjaan

General Note: (this seems an old note, but it is not!) Whether for lunch or dinner, one of the most mainstream Iranian main dishes consists of rice – plain, white chelow, or mixed polow— and a meat stew (khoresh). Now…, chelow must always accompany khoresh, while polow, layered with cooked or fried grains, vegetables, prunes, fruits or meat forms a complete dish.

Like mixed polow, Khoresh comes in tens of various tastes, colours and aromas, although they are all started in the same way and follow the same pattern: That is, lamb, beef, veal or chicken is used as the stew base (1), using four ever present ingredients: cooking oil, fried onion or piaz daagh, turmeric and all spice or advieh ( 2). The differentiating element of khoreshes is the specific set of vegetables, fruits, grains, and prunes that are added to them – often after being friend separately (3). I will tag all khoreshes, as I post them here. Let’s start with one of the most popular one: chicken and eggplants stew (khoresh-e joojeh bademjaan)


  • Half cut small chicken.
  • Onion, 1 big, thinly sliced.
  • Eggplants, 3 medium.
  • Cherry tomatoes (or small, peeled tomatoes), ½ kg.
  • Split yellow peas, (lapeh), ¼ cup.
  • Turmeric, ½teaspoon.
  • Advieh, (Iranian all-spice) ½teaspoon.
  • tomato juice, 2 cups  
  • Vegetable oil as needed.
  •  Salt and powdered red pepper, as needed.
  • Additional notes: 1.This khoresh can be made with lamb or veal or even without any meat, as is the case with the one shown in the picture. 2. 1 tbs. lime juice or a few dried lime are often used to make it a bit sour. If you use V8 though, no extra taste is really needed.

Method: In a pan, stir-fry onions in cooking oil until translucent (this is your piaz-daagh). Add chicken pieces and fry for at least ten minutes. Add turmeric, advieh, salt, pepper, and fry a few more minutes. Cover with water and close the lid and let simmer for about half an hour before the next stage

Wash split yellow in a small sauce pan and cook with till tender. Add to the first pan, when chicken is half done (I cook peas separately in case they have different cooking time

Peel eggplants and cut them lengthwise into three or more depending on the size of the eggplants. Place them in a colander, sprinkle generous amount of salt, and rinse briefly after 10 minutes. Dry them with paper towel and fry both side in cooking oil until brownish. You could use paper towels to remove excess oil, but it does need lots of oil while frying. I sometimes cook them in oven preheated to 400 for 45 minutes, and get less golden, less tasty but healthier eggplants.

Add fried eggplants to the pot, along with almost-cooked split peas. Pour one glass of tomato juice or V8 and simmer for another 15 minutes. Five minutes before serving add baby tomatoes. At serving you should not have too much of stew juice. Serve with care and attentin to  preserve separate look of the stew’s elements. Khoresh-e bademjaan, like all other khoreshes, should always be accompanied by hot rice – cooked Iranian style

With thanks to naubi for the beautiful pictures:)

2 Comments on “Eggplant stew or khoresh-e bademjaan”

  1. […] adas is one of the rare meatless Iranian stew (khoresh) and is very popular in South and South-west Iran  (Bushehr, Hormozgan and khuzestan provinces), […]

  2. […] of the few khoreshes without tomatoes! Two more things: My experiment with making traditional Iranian stews without […]

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