In khoresht kadoo bademjan ba morgh, golden brown eggplants and zucchinis cook in a rich and flavorful sauce of fried onions, tomato paste and spices. Furthermore, ghooreh, unripe grapes of seedless grape variety like Thompson grapes, imparts a unique flavor and bright tartness to this stew. Ghooreh can be found at Middle Eastern and Mediterranean markets in early June. Some stores may carry frozen sour grapes in their freezer section. Alternatively, other forms of ghooreh like the juice of sour grapes called abghooreh; or ground sour grape which is dried sour grape that is ground into powder, can be used in this recipe. This stew is a combination of khoresht bademjan and khoresht kadoo in one dish, perfect choice if you have family members who dislike either stew. No one would go hungry!
Since this stew is made with chicken tender and doesn’t require 30 minutes cooking prior to adding the vegetables, it’s best to fry the eggplants and zucchinis first. I fried the zucchinis on the stove top, but roasted the eggplants in the oven because they soak up less oil.
To roast your eggplants, place them in a non-stick roasting pan. Drizzle with oil, coating all sides. Roast, on the lower rack of oven, until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Check every 10 to 15 minutes and flip them over.
You can fry the eggplants and zucchinis a day in advance, then cover and store them in your refrigerator.
To make this delicious stew, fry the onions until slightly golden on the edges. Then stir in the tomato paste and spices. Add chicken tenders and cook for about 5 minutes to let the tomato paste fry. By frying the tomato paste, you boost the flavor of the sauce in a huge way. Once the onion is ready, add the sour grapes. If you don’t have sour grapes, use lemon juice or limoo amani. Since limoo amani needs time to rehydrate and soften, give them a jump start by soaking them in hot water for 20 minutes prior to adding them to the sauce.
Heat the water before adding it to the fried onions to save time. Otherwise, it would take a few minutes longer to bring the sauce back to a boil. Now, your base sauce is done.
Place the eggplants and zucchinis over the chicken tenders and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
Khoresht Kadoo Bademjan Ba Morgh (Zucchini and Eggplant Stew with Chicken)
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 45 min
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
1 large onion chopped
6 tablespoons oil for frying onion
8 chicken tenders
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon turmeric
pinch of saffron (optional)
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup sour grapes or ¼ cup fresh lemon juice or 6 dried Persian limes
2 cups hot water
½ cup vegetable oil for frying eggplants and zucchinis
2 globe or 5 Japanese eggplants peeled
4 zucchinis peeled
Heat ½ cup of oil in a large skillet and fry the zucchinis until golden brown. Remove to a platter and set aside. Add eggplants to the skillet and fry until golden brown.
To roast the eggplants, place them in a non-stick roasting pan. Drizzle with oil, coating all sides. Roast, on the lower rack of oven, until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Check every 10 to 15 minutes and flip them over.
Heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and fry for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Stir occasionally. Add tomato paste and seasonings to the fried onions. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the sour grapes.
Stir in 2 cups hot water. Place the eggplants and zucchinis over the chicken tenders and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve khoresht kadoo bademjan ba morgh over basmati rice.