In the old days cooks used to salt the eggplants to draw out its bitterness and block the absorption of oil during cooking. There is no need to salt the eggplants today because the variety of eggplants grown are rarely bitter. Also salting doesn’t eliminate the bitterness, it just masks it.
Khoresht Bademjan – Eggplant Stew in Pressure Cooker
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 10 min
Ready in: 1 hour 25 min
Yields: 6 servings
1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
6 tablespoons oil for frying onions
1½ pounds good flat iron roast, cut into 1½-inch cubes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon turmeric
pinch of saffron (optional)
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice or 6 dried Persian limes
2 cups hot water
½ cup vegetable oil for frying eggplants
8 Japanese eggplants peeled
Heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a medium size pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and fry for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add meat, tomato paste and turmeric, fry for 5 minutes until meat is slightly browned. Add 2 cups hot water, salt, and pepper, saffron and lemon juice or dried limes and bring to boil. Lower heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 40 minutes.
Meantime heat 1/2 cup of oil in a large nonstick skillet and fry the eggplants until golden brown.
Place the pressure cooker in the sink and run cold water over it to release pressure. Once safe, open the lid and gently place the eggplants over the meat. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.