Khoresh Bademjan

LAMB WITH AUBERGINE SAUCE

A delicious lamb casserole, Khoresh Bademjan (hor-resh bud-um-jahn) is flavoured with tomatoes, aubergines and spices. It is one of the popular national dishes in Iran where it is traditionally served on a bed of steamed rice.

2 small aubergines

2½ teaspoons salt

3 fl. oz. plus

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 lb. boned shoulder of lamb, cut into

2-inch cubes

1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced

2 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons tomato puree

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon curry powder

14 fl. oz. water

Cut the aubergines into-thin slices. Place them in a colander and sprinkle them with 2 teaspoons of the salt. Set the aubergines aside to degorge for 30 minutes. Dry the aubergine slices with kitchen paper towels and set aside.

In a large frying-pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat. Add the lamb cubes to the pan and fry them, turning occasionally, for 6 minutes, or until they are lightly and evenly browned on all sides. With a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and place it in a large ovenproof casserole.

Add the onion to the frying-pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, lemon juice, nutmeg, pepper and curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes.

Increase the heat to high. Stirring constantly, add the water and the remaining salt. Bring the sauce to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the meat in the casserole.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Rinse and dry the frying-pan. Pour in the remaining oil and heat it over mod-erate heat. When the oil is hot, add the aubergine slices, a few at a time, and fry them for 4 minutes on each

Khoresh Bademjan, a lamb, tomato and aubergine casserole, is an Iranian national dish. side, or until they are lightly browned.

With a slotted spoon, remove the slices from the pan and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Cook the remaining auber-gine slices in the same way, adding more oil to the pan if necessary. When all the slices have been cooked, place them on a board or flat surface and cut them into ½ inch strips. Add the strips to the casserole and stir to mix.

Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the lamb cubes are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife. Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.

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