|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: Serves 4|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||21%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||16%|
|Total Carbohydrate 64g||23%|
|Dietary Fiber 10g||37%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Khoresh, (sometimes spelled khoresht) or stew, is a mainstay of Persian cuisine. While khoresh bademjan, or eggplant stew, often includes meat, it's a recipe well suited to vegetarian adaptations. This vegan version makes a delicious main dish served over plain steamed rice or crusty tahdig. For a less traditional take, serve it over quinoa or couscous. If you're not concerned about keeping things vegan, a dollop of yogurt herb sauce is a tasty topper to this meal.
Pomegranate molasses—a thick syrup made from reduced pomegranate juice and sugar— gives the stew a distinctive tang and depth of flavor. You can find it in Middle Eastern markets and at some specialty groceries or make your own.
Stews like this one are ideal for cool weather al fresco dining during Sukkot. And since the palace intrigues of the Purim story took place in ancient Persia, this dish is the perfect addition to a Persian cuisine-inspired Purim seudah (feast).
- For the Khoresh Bademjan:
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (stemmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion (trimmed, peeled, and finely sliced)
- 3 large cloves garlic (peeled, smashed, and finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (sea or kosher, plus extra for salting the eggplant)
- 1 can/28 ounces tomatoes (whole and peeled; drained)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (store-bought or homemade)
- Optional: 1 pinch saffron
- For the Yogurt Herb Sauce (optional):
- 1 container/6 to 7 ounces yogurt (plain)
- 1/4 cup dill (fresh, chopped)
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic (smashed, peeled, and finely chopped)
- Optional: 1 pinch salt
In a Dutch oven or large chef's pan set over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and saute until they are soft and translucent, and beginning to brown in spots, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt, and sauté until the onions are coated and the spices are aromatic, about 1 minute more.
Add the eggplant to the pan (if it has released a lot of liquid, pat it dry with paper towels or a clean tea towel first). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté, turning to coat the eggplant in the onion and spice mixture, until the eggplant turns tender and shrinks in volume, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, using the spoon to break them apart into large chunks. Add the water, pomegranate molasses, and saffron, if using. Stir well. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot over rice, quinoa or couscous.
To make the optional, non-vegan yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, dill, garlic, and salt, if using. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.