Mirza Ghasemi (Eggplant Dish)
Mirza Ghasemi is a dish from the subtropical province of Gilan, along west side of the Caspian Sea, home to Gilaks, historically esteemed for their fearlessness. They fought off the invading Muslim Arabs during the Persian era, rejected their attempts to convert them to Islam, and were deemed the only warriors in the Caspian region to fight off the vikings as equals. That’s some serious grit y’all…..aaand, yep, I just ya’lled it.
So what does a diet of Caspian Warrior comprise of ? Seafood, white rice and plenty of fruits and cooked vegetables. Here is a picture of Gilak women working the rice fields, and if this isn’t back breaking, I don’t know what is.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 2 lrg eggplants
- 4 tomatoes, skin removed & chopped (~ 0.5- 3/4 cup canned)
- 6-8 sml garlic cloves, finely diced or grated
- 2-4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
Time~ Prep: 1 hr Cook: 30 min
- Cook the eggplant Pierce the eggplants with a fork and bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes, ’till a knife goes through easily or the eggplant begins to look like it is about to explode. Set aside to cool.
- Remove the skin and mash the eggplant or run through the blender.
- In a med. sized skillet saute chopped garlic in hot oil ’til light brown (5 min). Add in the turmeric and stir ’till fragrant (~1 min).
- Add the mashed eggplant and cook on med. heat for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper to the mix, stir well and cook covered on med. heat for an additional 20 minutes.
- Pour the beaten eggs over the eggplant mixture, stir until well blended. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or ’till the eggs are the at the desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Garnish with chopped tomato.
Scoop up the paste with a piece of flat bread or use a utensil to spread it over your bread… but where’s the fun in that?
Now befarma (come eat)