Persian Eggplant Lentil Stew (Gheymeh Bademjan)

A vegan take on a traditional Persian dish!



  1. Place the lentils in a large bowl and cover with water, let the lentils soak for at least 30 minutes or overnight
  2. Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat
  3. Once the oil is hot and starts to ripple in the bottom of the pan, add the yellow onion and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the onions are translucent and the edges are starting to brown, about 8-10minutes
  4. When the onions are golden brown, drain the lentils add to the onion mixture.
  5. Cook the lentils for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add turmeric to the lentils and cook, stirring continuously, for 3 minutes
  7. Add the tomato paste to the lentils and cook, stirring continuously for 5 minutes
  8. Add 1 Cup of water to the lentils, using a sharp knife or fork poke a hole in dried lemon and drop into the pot of lentils
  9. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot, cooking for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are almost cooked but have a slight bite to them
  10. While the lentils are cooking, peel the eggplant and cut into equal sized chunks
  11. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat until the oil begins to ripple (3-5 minutes)
  12. Add the eggplant to the oil and cook, flipping the pieces frequently, until the eggplant is golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes per side
  13. Once the eggplant is browned add them to the pot with the lentils
  14. Season with about 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt (taste the stew after a few minutes of cooking and add more salt to your taste)
  15. Cook the stew for an additional 20 minutes over low heat
  16. When the lentils are fully cooked, you can serve the stew over a bowl of brown rice and garnish with parsley

To make the toasted brown rice

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot
  2. Add 1 Cup of dry brown rice and stir frequently with a wooden spoon
  3. Toast the rice over medium heat until it is lightly browned and fragrant
  4. Add 2 Cups of water and 2 tsp sea salt to the rice
  5. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with it’s lid
  6. Cook, covered, for 35-40 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the rice is no longer crunchy
  7. Fluff the rice up with a fork and serve with the stew