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Persian Eggplant Stew Recipe

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  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Discover the rich flavors of Persian cuisine with our Eggplant Stew recipe, featuring tender eggplant simmered in a savory tomato-based sauce.


Units Scale

Roasted Eggplant

  • 1kg eggplants (aubergines)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Eggplant, Tomato and Chickpea Stew

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimento / smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

To Serve

  • Rice or bread
  • Cilantro
  • Vegan yogurt


  1. Roasted Eggplant: Cut the eggplants (aubergines) in half and slice each half into 3-4 pieces. Set them on a rimmed baking sheet or large colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let them stand for 1 hour, then rinse the eggplants and pat them dry.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  3. Arrange the eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheet. Brush them with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, ensuring they are well-coated.
  4. Roast the eggplants in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through or until they are tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Eggplant, Tomato, and Chickpea Stew: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the sliced onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until the onions are softened and golden at the edges.
  6. Add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, ½ teaspoon of pimento/smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper to the onions. Toss for another minute to let the spices bloom.
  7. Pour about 2 cups of water into the stew and stir well to combine. If you prefer a thicker stew, use less water. If you prefer a thinner sauce, use more. 
  8. Gently add the roasted eggplants to the pot, being careful not to break them. If you're using chickpeas, add them now as well.
  9. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for another 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. If you'd like a thinner consistency, add more water as needed.
  10. To Serve: This stew can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature, but it tends to taste even better after some time for the flavors to meld.
  11. Serve the Persian Eggplant Stew with rice or bread. If desired, garnish with fresh cilantro and a dollop of vegan yogurt.


  • Deep Frying Option: If you prefer a slightly different texture and flavor, deep fry the eggplants instead of roasting them. To do this, follow these steps:
    • Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or heavy Dutch oven to 350°F/180°C.
    • Carefully place the eggplant pieces into the hot oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding.
    • Fry the eggplants on both sides for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Drain the fried eggplants on paper towels and pat them with more paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Adjusting Consistency: You can change the thickness of the stew to your preference by adding more or less water. If you prefer it thicker, use less water; if you like it thinner, add more water during cooking.
  • Make-Ahead: This stew tastes even better as the flavors meld together the next day. You can make it in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat gently on the stovetop.
  • Serving Suggestions: In addition to cilantro and vegan yogurt, you can serve this stew with a squeeze of lemon juice for a citrusy kick or a sprinkle of sumac for extra flavor.
  • Accompaniments: Besides rice or bread, consider serving the stew with pickles, olives, or a simple salad to complete the meal.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Persian