There are plenty of eggplant dishes and side dishes in Persian cuisine such as Eggplant Dip (Kashke Bademjan) or Stuffed Eggplant, but one of the most popular one in Iran is Khoresh Bademjan or eggplant stew. This stew is made with fried eggplants and beef meatballs in a tomato based sauce. Eggplant stew is usually served over Persian rice or with a special Persian bread called Lavash, but you can serve it with pita bread or crackers too.
Cut the top off the eggplant, peel them, slice them in half lengthwise. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplants until soft and golden and set aside.
Grate the onion using a blender or grate and mix it with ground beef. Add salt and turmeric and mix thoroughly.
Make small size meatballs and place them in a non-stick pan.
Add oil to the pan and saute the meatballs over medium-low heat until lightly brown. Then add tomato paste and gently stir for 2-3 minutes. Set aside
Place a pot over medium-low heat. Add a layer of fried eggplants on the bottom of the pot, then add some of the meatballs and some tomato slices. Sprinkle with a pinch of ground cinnamon.
Keep layering with eggplant, meatballs, tomato slices and cinnamon. Add 1½ cup water and cover the lid.
Allow it to cook for 30-45 minutes. Serve with Persian rice or bread.