Vegetarian Khoresh Bademjan

Vegetarian Khoresh Bademjan Recipe

By Veegs

🔪Prep Time: 30 minutes

👩‍🍳Cook Time: 1 hour


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)

For the rice

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)


1Bake the prepared eggplants according to these instructions. Set aside.

2Pick 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 khoresh the split peas stop cooking further and stay firm in this khoresh, so cook them to the consistency that you like to have in your khoresh. Drain and set aside.

3At this point start making the Persian rice with your choice of TahDig

4In a 12-inch nonstick skillet fry the thinly sliced onions in 3 tablespoons butter.

5When the onions start turning golden around the edges, add ½ tsp turmeric and saute until rich golden brown.

6Transfer 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 a couple of minutes until the zereshk looks plump and shiny. Set aside.

7To 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.

8Add 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.

9Add 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 a couple of minutes.

10To 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 khoresh with plain steamed Persian rice.

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