Koresht

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Koresht

Post by Henrik on Thu Oct 11 2012, 20:21

I noted yesterday that eso made a mention of baingan bharta on f-book. As I believe he inted at, I thought I would bring the food discussion over here instead, and it is far easier to have such a discussion on a proper forum, and any possible recipes that may ensue will then be easily available for all interested.

First of all, I found that I have always been spelling the dish incorrectly, as it is indeed baingan and not baigan. But the main point was to discuss Iranian, or as I tend to prefer to say, Persian eggplant stews. The one I was referring to, which includes lamb, is the koresht bodemjoon. I used to have it regularly at a local Iranian restaurant here in Geneva, and decided one day that I just have to try and make it myself.

It was difficult to find a recipe for the dish, as instead I found a bunch of different ones that all had their own twist to it. Now, the one I had been eating was a tomato based stew with lamb pieces, loads of eggplant and split peas. Since I had a bag of split peas we had brought back with us from Qatar, I really wanted to include this in the dish, but hardly any of the recipes I found included this. Also, everybody seemed to have a different way of preparing the eggplant. I hate to fry it as it then just works like an incredible sponge that just soaks up more and more oil. Instead I cook the eggplants in the oven like when I am preparing a baingan bharta; poke the whole eggplant with a fork all over, then paste some olive oil on at chuck it whole in the oven for 30 minutes. When it is done, just cut it in half and scoop out the good stuff!

The rest of the stew is really easy to make. Peeled and chopped tomatoes (I use a can), onions, lamb cut in small chunks, split peas that have soaked and a creative mix of spices. I tend to prepare the mix in a bowl sort of like preparing a curry powder mix, and have a heavy hand with the cinnamon. The final thing that is needed is a special lime that is often found in Iran but that I can’t get here at all, and substitute it with a bit of lime juice instead. All this needs to cook for quite some time, especially to ensure the meat is nice and tender. Near the end of the cooking I add the eggplant to the stew. And let it cook until I have just the right consistency on the eggplant. Serve the stew with rice, the best obviously being proper Iranian rice although I find basmati works well too.

In case you are interested I can post up the actual recipe….

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Re: Koresht

Post by H8R on Thu Oct 11 2012, 22:21

Gesundheit!
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Re: Koresht

Post by eso on Sat Oct 13 2012, 02:05

I did indeed intend to take that up here Henrik.

The Koresht sounds good. I'm going to have to look into that.

For the Persian Eggplant dish I make I start a bit differently, using input for the Iranian friend that taught me how to make it.

I slice the Eggplant in slices about 1/2" thick and rub them down with salt, pepper, tumuric, good quality paprika, a bit of Cumin, and if you're so inclined a bit of cayenne or other hot pepper. Then I roast those slices in the oven for a while at 325-350 until they have given up a good portion of their moisture. After roasting I cut them up into decent bite-sized pieces and add them to the pan where the stew is going. They will pull a lot of the moisture out of the stew and it will thicken and get very hearty. Additionally, the spices on the eggplant will infuse with the stew and bring the whole dish together.

Even better is to take the spice rubbed eggplant slices and throw them into the smoker outdoors if you have it and are so inclined. This will add a rich smokiness to the dish.

I don't even know the name of the dish I make, but a real live Persian told me how to make it, and them when he tried mine he said he felt like he was in a Persian home...

The sauce for the stew is lots of tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro, all fresh and starting from sautée in a pan and cooking into a sauce. I'll usually get the sauce going towards the end of the time the eggplant is roasting, and then add the eggplant and let it stew for a while longer.

Serve that with some good Basmati or Jasmine rice, yogurt sauce and some middle eastern spicy pickled vegetables. It's a really rich hearty meal here you won't even miss the fact that there's no meat in it.

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Re: Koresht

Post by Henrik on Sat Oct 13 2012, 10:18

I had never thought of smoking vegetables. Basically I have only ever smoked fish, shrimps and chicken.

Your stew sounds great though, and I have no problem with vegetarian dishes. Some of the best Indian food is vegetarian.

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Re: Koresht

Post by eso on Sat Oct 13 2012, 16:32

I've had bharta that tasted smoky before. I think the Indians do that sometimes too. The way eggplant is such a sponge it makes it a natural for smoking: it takes on the flavor of whatever you're cooking it with.

One thing about the roasting/smoking for the Persian dish is that the eggplant retains a pretty firm tooth like meaty mushrooms. It doesn't break down into the dish like it does in Bharta.

Since Jill is a vegetarian I cook a lot of veggie entrées and that I do a side of protein if I'm feeling like I need it or having a craving for it. With all this talk I need to make that Eggplant dish again. I haven't made it in a while and Jill would like it too.

Having the boys now does change the menu quite a bit though.

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Re: Koresht

Post by Henrik on Sat Oct 13 2012, 18:07

What I really need to make soon, as it has been years, is some beef henrik!!

But tonight it will be steak tartare though...

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Re: Koresht

Post by eso on Sat Oct 13 2012, 18:41

Mmmmm... Beef Henrik. I should make some of that too.


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Re: Koresht

Post by Gelert on Sat Oct 13 2012, 19:15

Henrik wrote:I had never thought of smoking vegetables.
Suspect

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Re: Koresht

Post by Henrik on Sat Oct 13 2012, 20:12

I said vegetables, not plants!

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