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Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoresh Bademjan)

This eggplant stew, or khoresh bademjan, is a traditional Persian dish made with tender eggplant in a robust, spiced tomato-based sauce.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time42 minutes
Total Time57 minutes
Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 4
Author: Kevin



  • Place eggplant in a large colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of kosher salt and set aside to drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until golden and translucent, about 7 minutes. Next, add tomato paste, garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, and cinnamon; continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  • Gently squeeze water from eggplant and pat it dry with paper towel. Add eggplant to pan with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook, stirring often, until eggplant is tender and starts to brown at the edges, about 15 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and pomegranate molasses, then use your fingers to crush saffron into the pan. Pierce the Persian limes with a fork and stir them into the stew.
  • Bring stew to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover pot with lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with cooked rice.


  1. There are several varieties of eggplant. The best for making this eggplant stew are either Chinese (long and slender) or Italian, as they have firm flesh and fewer seeds than other varieties.
  1. Good substitutes for pomegranate molasses are cranberry juice and grenadine, or raspberry jam and lemon juice.


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 689mg | Potassium: 1384mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 756IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 4mg