Khoreshte Bademjan ( Eggplant Persian stew)

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless meat, or 2 pounds lamb shank or beef  meat with bones

8 slim, black eggplants or any other types as far as they are tall and slim

3-4 medium onions for frying

2 tablespoon tomato paste or 2 cups tomato juice

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon each turmeric/salt/pepper

1/2 cup sour grapes (ghooreh) or sour lavashak found in Persian super markets optional

cooking instructions:

1. Peel eggplants, rub with salt, place in a colander  and let aside for 1 hour to remove bitterness. Rinse,  cut in half if too long, and fry in hot oil over medium heat until golden on all sides.

2. Cut meat into 2 by 2 inches cubes and fry a little with oil and turmeric. Transfer to a pot,  pour 2 cups of  water, tomato paste or tomato   juice,  and cook over medium low heat with lid on until  meat is cooked.

3. Add lemon juice, salt/pepper/lavashak or ghooreh (if using). Add fried onions and eggplants on top continue cooking until cooked and soft.

Notes : discard some of the visible oil which accumulates. If sauce is too watery in khoresht, cook with lid off until desired consistency.

4. Serve in a rather deep dish, arrange eggplants on top, decorate with fried cherry tomatoes.

5. This Khoresht is normally served over white rice (chelo) but it is also delicious with other polos (rices).

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