Khoresh Bademjan ba Morgh – Eggplant stew with chicken

خورشت بادمجان با مرغ

Eggplant, otherwise known as the potato of Iran, is used in a variety of stews, Kuku (egg-based dishes), and layered rice dishes.

This stew is a well known, popular and respected dish that finds itself served frequently and proudly on a Persian table. The very special and unique ingredient in this dish is “Ghooreh”, which showcases Iranians’ love of all things sour. Ghooreh is the Farsi name for unripe sour grapes. Once harvested, they are then juiced, frozen or dried into a powder. These elements are used anywhere acidity is called for.

Pride!

Khoresht-e Bademjan ba Morgh

Eggplant stew with chicken in tangy tomato sauce
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: chicken, eggplant, stew, tomato sauce
Servings: 4
Author: Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided, more as needed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided. Adjust to your taste
  • 3 medium eggplants, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 4-6 chicken pieces, with bones and skin on
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Ab Ghooreh (unripe sour grape juice), or fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons Ghooreh, Fresh, frozen or brined (rinse if brined)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3-4 cups water

Instructions

  • In a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, saute the onions over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • Add garlic and turmeric and saute for 2 additional minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Toss the peeled and quartered eggplants with 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • In the same pan saute the eggplants over medium-low heat adding as much oil as needed to brown the eggplants on all sides. About 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, saute the chicken over medium-high heat until both sides have turned to a golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • In a large pot, combine the onions and chicken, and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Ab Ghooreh, Ghooreh, pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and water, and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  • Arrange the partially cooked eggplants on top of the stew and gently press them down to submerge them into the stew.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for another 30 minutes. Chicken should be tender and readily falling off the bone.
  • Remove from heat, adjust for seasoning and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Gently transfer the stew into a serving dish without disturbing the eggplants too much, so that they maintain their integrity.
  • Serve the stew with Persian saffron basmati rice.

Notes

This stew can also be made with beef or lamb instead of chicken.  Increase the cooking time by 15-30 minutes to make sure the meat is properly cooked and completely tender. 
Alternatively, eggplants can be roasted in a 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes to reduce the amount of oil used.  I used Italian style of eggplants for this dish as they tend to be more readily available.  I do however prefer Asian variety of eggplants as they are longer and slimmer.  When using Asian eggplants, I cut them in half lengthwise.  
 

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