Being a vegetarian, many Persian dishes aren't edible for me (beef and chicken kabob don't scream vegetarian), but this one is and I love it. Mirza Ghasemi is incredibly simple, just eggplants, tomatoes, and onions! Some versions include eggs, but my mother has never made it with eggs, so I don't either.
A bit of prepping goes into the dish to get the water/bitterness out of the eggplants, but once that's done, it's quick, quick, quick.
You MUST love eggplants to like this dish. : )
I've successfully learned how to make this eggplant rich dish from my mother and am here to share it with you.
2 large tomatoes (chopped)
1 large white onion (diced)
2 tsp Turmeric
3 Tblsp Tomato Paste
1. Eggplant Prepping:
Wash the eggplant and cut to make circular pieces of about 1/2 - 3/4 inches. Leave the peal on (it's so delicious in the stew!). Cut the circular pieces down the center to make half-circle pieces.
Line a cookie sheet with paper towels and place the eggplant pieces on the cookie sheet. Generously shake salt on the pieces, this helps get the water out of the eggplants (by osmosis) and kill the natural bitterness of egg plants. Leave the salt on the eggplants for at least 2 hours.
|Look at that osmosis at work!|
One the eggplant are done drying, put the egg plant on a wire rack (or straight into the oven) and broil for about 10 minutes, or until the eggplant are slightly brown.
2. Dice the onion. Saute the onions in a large pot. When the onions are only slightly cooked, add in lots of Turmeric (anywhere from 1-2 teaspoons). This spice is purely for color!
|This is a picture from when my dad made the dish, he accidentally peeled the eggplant, but be sure to LEAVE THE PEEL|
3. Over medium-low heat, add eggplant, chopped tomatoes, 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste, and a splash of olive oil. Give it a good stir!
4. Cook for 10-15 minutes covered, lowering the heat toward the end. The stew should get to a consistency where the eggplant fall apart when it's mixed. Turn off the stove when this consistency is reached.
5. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
This dish can be eaten hot or cold and is often enjoyed with bread that's dipped right in to this delicious eggplant-y goodness!