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persian aubergine stew

Khoresh Bademjan (Persian Aubergine & Tomato Stew)

Khoresh Bademjan, or Persian Aubergine & Tomato Stew, is a popular dish in Iran. Be inspired by our vegan-friendly version here and try something new!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 420 kcal


  • 2 aubergines stemmed, peeled, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion (large) skin removed, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 pinch saffron (optional)


  1. Place the aubergines in a colander placed over a bowl. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea or salt and set aside. 

  2. In a large pan, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, and beginning to brown, for around 7 - 9 minutes.

  3. Now add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt, and sauté until the onions are coated with the spices, stir regularly for 1 minute.

  4. Add the cubed aubergines to the pan (if it has released plenty of liquid, pat it dry with kitchen towels first). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté, regularly turning the eggplant in the onion and spice mixture to coat, until the aubergine is tender and shrinks in volume, this should take around 10 minutes. 

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, using the spoon to break apart any large chunks. Soon after, add the water, pomegranate molasses, and saffron, if using, and stir well.

  6. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low, and cook covered for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot over Persian rice, couscous or whatever you heart desires.