The Recipe - Iranian Eggplant

Iranian Eggplant Stew

As Shadi Towfighi from Iran taught Lindsay Sterling in Bath, Maine.

Serves 4-6

1 c. dried yellow split peas
Organic Canola oil
½ yellow onion, sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
21/2 c. basic tomato sauce
1 ½ Tbsp tamarind paste
4 small eggplants
4 tomatoes, green or red

Soak rinsed split yellow peas and rice in separate bowls for four hours. 

Two and a half hours before dinnertime, peel eggplant, slice into quarters lengthwise, and salt generously all sides. 

Cover bottom of a heavy pot with canola oil, sauté onion until edges crisp, and add drained split yellow peas. Add turmeric, tomato sauce, and tamarind paste (mixed into 2 cups water). Stir periodically, adding water to moisten to stew consistency, for two hours or until peas become soft. 

Thirty minutes before serving, heat ½ inch of oil in a large heavy fry pan. Dry eggplant pieces with a towel and fry each side until deeply golden, draining the finished pieces of eggplant in a strainer over a plate. 

Slice tomatoes in half and fry until soft and golden. Place eggplant and tomatoes on top of stew. Serve with crispy saffron rice.

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2009