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    Eggplant stew

    Iran - Eggplant stew


    • Course/Drink: Main Course

    Eggplant stew made with baked eggplants and yellow split peas. What makes this Stew incredibly delicious is the tangy pomegranate concentrate and a citrus blend made with fresh squeezed juices of oranges and lemons. The traditional khoresht bademjan is an eggplant and meat lovers’ stew with chunks of lamb or beef and it is served over steamed rice. The creation of this tasty khoresht was the result of combining the ingredients, flavors and techniques of several traditional recipes existing in Persian cuisine.

    Small eggplant varieties such as Chinese or Italian are the best choices for this dish because of their tender texture. The eggplants used in this stew are baked and then stewed in the flavorful sauce for only about 30 minutes. Both of these varieties of eggplants cook quickly in a short time with a delicious flavor and a beautiful color. The large Western globe eggplants would not be suitable for this dish.


    • 4 Chinese eggplants peeled, sliced lengthwise and cut into 3 pieces (or 8 Italian eggplants, sliced lengthwise and cut in half)
    • 1 cup slow-cooking yellow split peas (lapeh dir paz)
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced very thin, fried to golden brown (divided, ¾ for khoresh and ¼ for the rice)
    • 3 TBSP butter, for frying the onion
    • ½ tsp ground turmeric
    • 2 TBSP tomato paste
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • Pinch of cayenne pepper
    • ⅛ tsp saffron powder (optional)
    • 2-3 TBSP pomegranate concentrate
    • Zest of one orange
    • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3 medium oranges)
    • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
    • ½ cup hot water (more if needed)


    • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice (2½ cups if making yogurt tahdig)
    • ¾ cup blanched slivered almonds
    • ⅔ cup zereshk (barberries)
    • Dash of saffron powder (optional)


    Serves for 4-5 persons


    How to cook

    1. Bake the prepared eggplants.
    2. Pick through and wash the yellow split peas; drain and add to a small saucepan. Add enough water to cover the peas by 1 inch. Add ½ tsp salt. Bring it to a boil without covering the pan. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until the split peas are tender when you bite into one. Once the pomegranate paste is added to the khoresht the split peas stop cooking further and stay firm in this khoresht, so cook them to the consistency that you like to have in your khoresht. Drain and set aside.
    3. At this point start making the Persian rice with your choice of Tahdig
    4. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet fry the thinly sliced onions in 3 tablespoons butter.
    5. When the onions start turning golden around the edges, add ½ tsp turmeric and saute until rich golden brown.
    6. Transfer ¼ of the fried onions to a small skillet and add the slivered almonds, zereshk and the optional saffron. Saute over very low heat for couple of minutes until the zereshk looks plump and shiny. Set aside.
    7. To the remaining fried onions add 2 tablespoons tomato paste, salt, the peppers, ¼ teaspoon saffron and the cooked split peas and saute for 3-4 minutes over low heat, stir several times.
    8. Add the pomegranate concentrate and saute while stirring for another 2 minute over low heat. Add the orange/lemon juice mixture (1 ½ cups), ½ cup hot water, and zest of one orange to the skillet and bring it to a boil.
    9. Add the baked eggplants, bring it to another boil. Cover and cook over the marking between low and medium low for 25–30 minutes, or until the eggplants are tender and very flavorful. The sauce will be thick. If you want a thinner sauce, add about ¼ cup hot water, stir and bring to a boil and continue cooking for couple of minutes.                                                     
    10. To serve the rice: Use a spatula to transfer some of the steamed rice to a serving platter, then add some of the almond and zereshk mixture on top. Continue this for two more times until you have used up the rice and the almond mixture. The top layer should be the almond mixture. You may also serve this khoresht with plain steamed Persian rice.

    Preparation time: About 30 minutes
    Simmer time: 30 minutes


    Notes & Recommendations:


    The pomegranate concentrate is sold at Persian and Middle Eastern markets. The pomegranate molasses tends to be slightly sourer.
    Zereshk is the tart red berries of the edible barberry plant and is also available online or at the Persian markets. If unable to purchase zereshk, you may substitute with dried cranberries, for a slightly sweeter, but nevertheless a delicious alternative.

    For the vegan version: Add vegetable oil in place of butter

    About Us

    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.


    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.