Eggplant stew with chicken in tangy tomato sauce

Khoresht-e bademjan ba morgh

خورشت بادمجان با مرغ

Eggplant, otherwise known as the potato of Iran, is used in variety of stews, kukus (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 elememts are used anywhere acidity is called for.


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


  • 1/2 cup oil, or 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 chicken pieces, breasts and thighs
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Ghooreh (unripe sour grape juice), or fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3-4 cups water


  • In a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, saute the onions over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Add garlic and turmeric and saute for 2 additional minutes. 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. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, saute the chicken over medium-high heat until both sides have turned to golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside
  • In a large pot, combine the onions and chicken, and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 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.
  • Remove from heat, adjust for seasoning and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve the stew with Persian saffron basmati rice.


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. 

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