This month, Pomi asked that I try to create a recipe using one of their tomatoes paired with eggplant. I have been craving my favorite Afghan meal from a restaurant in Philadelphia called Ariana so my mind went immediately to trying to replicate it. The meal, Badenjan Chalow, is a lamb dish with eggplant, cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices served over basmati rice.
Pomi’s strained tomatoes are perfect for this recipe. Although I’d love to put this in a slow cooker and let it cook all day, I wanted to make this weeknight meal friendly.
- 1 cup cooked basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 eggplant, peeled and diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 1 lb lamb chunks
- 1 container Pomi strained tomatoes
Begin by cooking your rice, according to package directions. I used my rice cooker and added a little bit of coconut oil to give it some extra flavor (you can omit this).
Chop your onions, garlic, and eggplant.
Add olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onions, and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggplant and stir. Cook until softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.
In a separate saute pan, add the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat.
Combine the pepper, cardamom, cumin, coriander, tumeric, and salt in a small bowl.
Sprinkle over the lamb and add to the saute pan.
Cook until seared on each side, about 3 minutes per side.
Add the strained tomatoes to the large saute pan (the onions, eggplant, and garlic). Add in the lamb and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Serve over basmati rice.
So, there is still something special in Ariana’s recipe that I haven’t quite figured out. But my version is pret-ty darn good if I do say so myself.
I love the spice combination found in this recipe; the flavors of the spices work so nicely with the tomato sauce and the eggplant gives it a really nice texture.