This stew is a perfect combination of fresh okra and tender eggplants simmering in a luscious tomato sauce along with browned lamb cubes. Even if you're not too crazy about okra this delicious khoresh would most likely change your mind. There's something magical about the combination of eggplant, okra, tomatoes and lime juice. This eggplant and okra stew could also be made with ghooreh (unripe grapes) if available where you live. The use of freshly squeezed lime juice, abghooreh (verjuice) or limoo amani (dried lemon) is key in Iranian cooking. The acidity of these ingredients definitely enhances the flavor of most dishes.
Khoresh-e Bamieh-o-Bademjan - Eggplant and Okra Stew
1 1/2 pound meat (lamb or beef), washed, trimmed and cubed
8 small size eggplants, peeled, leave whole or cut in half
1 pound okra, wash and trim the top
1-2 large tomatoes, skin removed and finely diced
2 large onions, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of red pepper *optional
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place peeled eggplants in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them drain for a couple of hours before cooking.
- Heat 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the eggplants until golden brown. Remove and place fried eggplants on a paper towel.
- In the same skillet fry okra in 2-3 tablespoons of oil on medium heat until lightly brown. Set aside.
- In a large stew pot saute the chopped onions on medium-high heat until golden brown. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir well, add the minced garlic and saute for another few minutes.
- Add the meat, salt, pepper and brown the meat on all sides.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and add enough water to cover the meat by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium-low heat or until the meat is tender.
- Add the lime juice to the stew, stir and gently place the fried eggplants and okra in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. Add a little more water if necessary. Cover and simmer for another 30-40 minutes on low heat.