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Persian Eggplant and Kidney Bean Stew
with rice

Active: 50 Total: 50

Inspired by a popular Iranian stew (Ghormeh Sabzi), this vegetarian spin has an equally rich, savory flavor from tender, slow-cooked eggplant. A generous portion of herbs gives the dish a unique balance of savory and fresh.
Smarts: If making Thursday's meal, make a double batch of rice tonight. If not doubling, try making saffron rice for tonight’s meal. Add a small pinch of saffron threads to the water for the rice before it begins to simmer.



White or Brown Rice:
  • Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
Persian Eggplant and Kidney Bean Stew:
  • Eggplant - 1 lb , cubed, peeled if desired
  • Onions, medium - 1 , diced
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Pomegranate seeds / arils - 1/4 cup (look for these already removed from the shell to save time)
  • Limes - 2 , wedges
  • Cilantro leaves - 1/2 cup , very finely chopped
  • Parsley - 1/2 cup , very finely chopped
  • Beans, kidney (14 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans , drained and rinsed
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 2 cups
  • Fenugreek leaves, dried - 1 tsp , crushed (sub dried mustard)
Cucumber and Pomegranates:
  • Pomegranate seeds / arils - 1/4 cup (look for these already removed from the shell to save time)
  • Cucumbers - 12 oz , chopped
  • Oil, olive - 2 tsp
  • Lime juice - 2 tsp
  • Honey - 1/4 tsp


  1. ​​Rice - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Eggplant / Onions - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Salt eggplant - Sprinkle salt over eggplant and place it in a colander over a bowl. Set aside for at least 20 to 30 minutes. The salt will draw out moisture from the eggplant and help it to turn tender and brown instead of springy / squishy as it cooks. 

  4. Pomegranate seeds (for stew and salad) - Remove seeds from shells (if not already removed).

  5. Cucumbers / Limes / Cilantro / Parsley - Prep as directed. Store cucumbers and limes in their own separate containers. Combine cilantro and parsley in another container.

  6. Make salad - Toss pomegranate seeds (portion for salad) and cucumbers with olive oil, lime juice, and honey. Season with some salt and pepper.

  7. Beans - Drain and rinse.

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  1. Using paper towels or a clean dish towel, gently pat the eggplant cubes to remove any excess moisture and some of the salt. 

  2. Heat a Dutch oven with first portion of cooking oil over medium heat. Add eggplant and onions. Saute gently, stirring often, until eggplant and onions are deep golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. 

  3. Slowly pour stock over eggplant, vigorously scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer. Adjust heat to maintain a low simmer while preparing the herbs (you want the liquid to reduce slightly but don't want all of it to cook off). 

  4. Next, heat a skillet with second portion of cooking oil over medium heat. Add cilantro and parsley. Add fenugreek, crushing it between your fingers to help release the flavors. Cook everything together, stirring often, until fragrant and wilted, 6 to 7 minutes.

  5. Stir herb mixture into warm stew. Add in beans. Simmer on low, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes to let flavors blend.

  6. Squeeze about a quarter of the lime wedges into the stew. Taste and season with some more lime juice and / or some salt and pepper.

  7. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave. (Reserve half if doubled.)

  8. Serve stew over rice with pomegranate seeds (portion for stew) over top and extra lime wedges. Enjoy cucumber salad on the side.



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