PERSIAN SEARED EGGPLANT AND TOMATO BEEF (Khoresh bademjan)
1 large Eggplant or the equivalent amount of the smaller eggplant variety
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-1.5 pounds of Lean Ground Beef
1 White or Yellow Onion, pureed in a food processor or shredded with a box grater
1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
5 ounces (⅔ cup) of tomato paste
1 large Tomato (or 2 small/medium ones), rinsed and cut into thick wedges
1 cup of Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon (approximately 4 to 5 cloves) of freshly Minced Garlic
Rinse the eggplant. Remove its stem and slice the eggplant into ¼-inch thick slices. Then cut into a bit larger than bite-sized pieces.
Put water into a large pan to an inch deep. Add in the eggplant into a single layer. Turn heat to high and place cover over pan. Once the water starts seeming like it wants to boil, reduce heat to a simmer (most likely medium heat). After a couple minutes, flip them to cook the other side for another 2 minutes or so. The eggplant should soften and may slightly change in color. Remove the eggplant to a clean plate. Work in batches if needed.
Rinse and dry the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan on med-high heat. Swirl oil around in pan to coat the surface.
Add the eggplant to the pan in a single layer and don’t touch the eggplant for 2 minutes while it sears on one side. After 2 minutes, flip the eggplant and allow to cook for another 2 minutes before removing to a clean plate. Work in batches if needed (add more olive oil for each new batch).
In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, onion, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
Add the beef mixture to the pan on high heat and use a spatula to break up the beef into small pieces.
Allow to cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the beef has browned and begins sauteing in its own natural fat.
At this point, mix in the tomato paste.
Mix in the eggplant and fresh tomato.
Turn heat to med-low and mix occasionally for 5 minutes.
To make the garlic yogurt, mix the garlic into the yogurt. Serve a large dollop of it on top of the beef mixture in your own plate that you’ll enjoy with bread, pasta, rice, or quinoa.