A thing I have learned over the last 5 years here (has it been that long already?) is that people have very strong opinions on eggplant.
Some find it to the be awesome, especially when it’s spicy or paired with tomato sauce, others just don’t care about it, and no matter what you do with it, they’re never going to be converted.
I, for one, am an eggplant LOVER.
I love how it can be used in so many different recipes, how you can transform it and make it into patties, pizzas, meatballs, and mostly how it never fails to deliver.
So you shouldn’t be surprised that this was the first recipe I tried when I bought Silk Road Vegetarian. To be honest, for more than I’d like to admit it was also the only recipe I made from that cookbook.
It was love at first sight. A combination of eggplant, tomatoes, and spices that is just divine.
I tinkered with the recipe four or five times before I got it down to what it is now.
I suggest you make this (Vegan) Persian Eggplant Stew because it tastes really, really good.
So delicious, it got rave reviews, big smiles, and empty bowls!
And not only is it easy to make, it’s also budget-friendly, no-time-to-cook friendly, and — since summer is just around the corner — waistline friendly (which I know all too well how important it is, or not?)
It could be a weekend brunch or a weekday dinner or lunch or a “I can’t believe it’s raining all weekend!” consolation prize. And since it reheats so well, it’s great to pack for work lunches.
Serve it with steamed basmati rice (or cauliflower rice) to soak up the sauce and you have a complete meal on your hands. Awe-some!
1 large eggplant (about 1 ¼ lbs), cut into large cubes
2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 large tomatoes (about 1 lb in total), peeled, seeded and chopped
4 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
Fill a large bowl with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until it dissolves completely.
Add eggplant cubes to the bowl of water and let sit for at least 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness.
Drain the eggplant cubes and set aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for about 6 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and spices and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add eggplant cubes and cook on high for 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the eggplant starts to soften and begins to brown.
Add chopped tomatoes, remaining teaspoon of salt, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
At this point the eggplant should start to break down and the sauce thicken. If it looks dry add more water a couple of tablespoons at a time. If, instead, the sauce is too thin, remove the lid and cook until it reaches the right consistency.
Take a taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Add 3 tablespoons of chopped mint and give a good stir, sprinkle with remaining mint and serve!
One serving yields 168 calories, 11 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of protein.