Khoresh bademjan (lamb and aubergine stew)

October 2, 2012 (Last Updated: June 6, 2020)
Khoresh bademjan (lamb and aubergine stew) recipe

TO DRINK: Earthy lamb loves Cabernet Sauvignon but the citrusy bite of the pickle needs the sweetness of some fruit, so try your Cab with a splash of plummy Merlot. 

Khoresh bademjan (lamb and aubergine stew)

Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins

Khoresh bademjan is a Persian stew of aubergines and tomatoes.


  • 4 large aubergines, thinly sliced
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1kg lamb knuckle
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) turmeric
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 10ml (2 tsp) ground cumin
  • 2 x 50g tins tomato paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1,5L water
  • 6 whole Persian sun-dried limes
  • steamed basmati rice, to serve



Preheat the oven to 220°C.


Place the aubergine on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven until soft and slightly charred, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.


Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the sliced onion. Fry until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb knuckle and fry until well browned, about 5 – 8 minutes.


Add the garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, tomato paste and seasoning.


 Add the water and limes to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced, about 1 hour.


Add the cooked aubergine slices to the pot and simmer for a further 15 minutes.


Serve the rich stew with steamed basmati rice.

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