A Persian stew made with chicken, Japanese eggplant, and sour grapes. This Khoresh Bademjan is one of my mom's staples that I grew up with, and I'm excited to share it with you. "Khoresh" translates to "Stew" and "Bademjan" translates to "Eggplant."
If you're interested in learning some more Farsi, check out this post with all the cooking terms I use, transliterated.
Why You Should Make this Recipe
This is eggplant hearty stew infused with incredible flavor from turmeric and saffron. You should make this stew if you’re looking to experiment with some amazing, yet less common ingredients like Japanese eggplant, and sour grapes.
The main sauce of the stew combines tomato sauce with a hint of sour taste from the sour grapes. The seasoned chicken and eggplant work well with the tomato sauce base, combining to make delicious savory stew!
This dish is a must-try if you’re a fan of Persian cuisine.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Japanese eggplant - small or Japanese eggplant work well in this recipe. The Japanese eggplant work best because they are along and skinny, making them cook all the way through much faster. I also like the seed to flesh ratio the best.
saffron - can be found in middle eastern markets and online. Shop saffron.
Sour grapes, also known as gooreh, are only in season once a year. I like to buy them in bulk, stem them, and freeze them so I can use them all year round.
If you cannot find sour grapes, you can substitute dried limes in bademjan. This substitution is commonly done, and you will be able to find dried limes all year round.
Step-by-Step Eggplant Stew
Fry the eggplants in canola oil until very tender. Set aside on paper towels.
Saute the onion in the canola oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Add the chicken, turmeric, salt, and pepper and saute until brown on all sides.
Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and sour grapes (or dried limes). Bring to boil. Lower to simmer. Simmer for 90 minutes.
Before serving, add the eggplants and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Then, add the saffron and water brew and mix.
Serve khoresh bademjan with basmati rice.
Chicken Stew FAQs
Yes, you can add raw chicken pieces to stew towards the end of the cooking process and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
You can serve any vegetable sides, grains, potatoes, or salads with chicken stew. Khoresh Bademjan, in particular, goes great with basmati rice.
Browning the chicken before adding the stew liquid seals in the juices in the meat, and helps create the fall-off-the-bone tenderness.
More Delicious, Warming Stews
If you like this Persian recipe, be sure to check out all my Persian recipes here. And I'm sure you'll love one of these other chicken stews, too:
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- 4 lbs. chicken if using a whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 5 Japanese eggplants sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 onion diced
- 16 oz. tomato sauce can
- 3 oz. tomato paste
- 1/2 cup sour grapes*
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 pinch saffron brewed in 3 tbsp hot water
- Salt and pepper
- Fry the eggplants in canola oil until very tender. Set aside on paper towels.
- Sautee the onion in the canola oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Add the chicken, turmeric, salt, and pepper and sautee until brown on all sides.
- Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and sour grapes (or dried limes). Bring to boil. Lower to simmer. Simmer for 90 minutes.
- Before serving, add the eggplants and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Then, add the saffron and water brew and mix.
- Serve with basmati rice.