This is an absolutely incredible vegetarian stew. Traditionally, this dish is made with lamb or beef, but the author described this version as just as savory without the meat. I absolutely loved it. ❤
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Andy Baraghani. I substituted American globe eggplant for the smaller Japanese eggplant and incorporated Campari tomatoes. I also used fresh lime juice instead of dried black limes. We ate the stew over brown Basmati rice with warm naan on the side. Wow. 🙂
Yield: Serves 4
- 8–9+ T vegetable oil, divided (I used canola oil)
- 2 globe eggplants (about 2 lbs), peeled, cut into 1-inch rounds OR 6 small Japanese eggplants (about 2 lbs), peeled, halved lengthwise
- Kosher salt
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 T double-concentrated tomato paste
- 10 Campari tomatoes, cut into eighths OR 3 medium tomatoes (about 1 lb), seeds removed, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups stock (can substitute water)
- 3 to 4 cups water
- 3 lemon omani (dried black limes) or 2 T fresh lime juice (see Note)
- cooked basmati rice, parsley leaves, plain yogurt, and flatbread, for serving (I served brown Basmati rice, Greek yogurt & warm naan)
- Heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high.
- Working in batches, cook eggplant in a single layer, adding another tablespoon of oil if pan looks dry, until deeply browned, about 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet; season with coarse salt. (I added an additional 4 tablespoons of oil to cook the second batch of globe eggplant slices.)
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to same pot and cook onion over medium to medium-high, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned around the edges, 8 to10 minutes.
- Sprinkle turmeric and cinnamon over and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened in color, about 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes; cook, still stirring, until tomatoes have burst and mixture is very thick, 5 to 9 minutes.
- Nestle eggplant into sauce and season lightly with salt.
- Pour in stock and 3 cups of water; bring to a simmer.
- Pierce dried lemon omani with a paring knife and add to pot. (If using lime juice instead, add when dish is finished cooking.)
- Cook, gently stirring occasionally, until thickened and eggplant is almost creamy in texture, 40–50+ minutes. (I cooked mine significantly longer to achieve my desired thickness.)
- Divide rice among bowls; ladle stew over. (I served the stew over brown Basmati rice.)
- Top with parsley and yogurt and serve with flatbread. (I served it with warm naan.)