A few days ago I made a northern Iranian dish called Mirza Ghasemi for a friend of mine. They were psyched, and immediately asked for the recipe, so they can cook for their colleagues. When I finished writing the recipe in English, I thought it could be a good idea not only to share it with my friend, but with whoever else who might want to try it. Hence I decided to add a section to my long-abandoned blog for Iranian cuisine.
Before you cook
- Aubergines (eggplants): 3 large
- Tomatoes: at least 9
- Garlic: 1 bulb
- Eggs: 3
- Turmeric (kurkuma)
- Salt and pepper
- Make some deep holes or cuts in the aubergines, and then bake them in the oven or on a grill until they are tender thoroughly.
- Peel the garlic, and grate it into fine grains.
- Put the tomatoes in hot water for 1 minute, so their skins crack and can be peeled easily. Remove the skin, and grate them into a mush. There should be no solid pieces left.
- When the aubergines are ready, peel the skin and cut the tail off. Then use a knife to chop them length-long into thin stripes. Personally I do it until they look like a puree.
- Fry the garlic with 2-3 spoons of oil until golden (not for too long).
- Add the aubergines to the garlic, and cook until the water is drained.
- Add the grated tomatoes, and mix with a tablespoon of turmeric, and enough salt and pepper.
- Keep the mix cooking until the mix is fully drained of water, and becomes a little oily. Stir periodically so you have an even mix, and make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Now push the paste on one side of the pan. On the other side, break the eggs, and let them and mix the yellow and white parts together. When the eggs are fried, mix them with the rest of the paste until even.
- Voila. This dish is served with rice or sometimes bread. I will add another post later to explain how Iranian steam-cooked rice is made.
- For best authentic taste, bake the aubergines on direct fire.
- The orange color of the dish comes from tomatoes and turmeric. The more of those two you add, the more orange your dish will look. Some people add tomato puree as an ingredient to complement the color and taste. In this case, you can add one tablespoon of tomato puree in place for three tomatoes. But always leave some fresh tomatoes in there.
- Remember, the paste should be drained completely. I have found that non-Iranians also like it when the paste is a little damp. But then it no longer qualifies as Mirza Ghasemi. The sheen on Mirza Ghasemi’s texture should come from the oil, not water.