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This Persian stew of tomatoes and spiced eggplant is typically made with lamb or beef, but it’s faster and just as savory without meat
1. Heat 6 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Working in batches, cook eggplant in a single layer, adding another 1 Tbsp. oil if pan looks dry, until deeply browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels; season with salt.
2. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to same pot and cook onion over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Sprinkle turmeric and cinnamon over and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened in color, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook, still stirring, until tomatoes have burst and mixture is very thick, 7–9 minutes.
3. Nestle eggplant into sauce and season lightly with salt. Pour in 6 cups water; bring to a simmer. Pierce dried lemon omani with a paring knife and add to pot. (If using lime juice instead, add when dish is finished cooking.) Cook, gently stirring occasionally, until thickened and eggplant is almost creamy in texture, 40–50 minutes.
4. Divide rice among bowls; ladle stew over. Top with parsley and yogurt and serve with flatbread. 4 SERVINGS
8–9 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
6 small Japanese eggplants (about 2 lb.), peeled, halved lengthwise Kosher salt
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup double-concentrated
3 medium tomatoes (about 1 lb.),
seeds removed, coarsely chopped 3 lemon omani (dried black limes)
or 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice Cooked basmati rice, parsley leaves, plain yogurt, and flatbread (for serving)
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