Tuesday, June 11, 2013

395. Aubergine Stew

Marags (stews) are essential on any Iraqi dining table.

Their presence is as comforting as it is fulfilling, and the combination of a saucey nutritive stew is easy on the digestion, without risking being boring, like soup.
Aubergine, or eggplant stew (مرقة الباذانجان) is one of my favorites made as vegan. However, when feeding family, one must incorporate meat into the stew.
You can easily omit the meat to make it vegan/vegetarian, or substitute it with chicken to make it more cholesterol-friendly.
Also to reduce fat, you can skip frying the aubergines and just pop them in the stew raw where they will poach. Needless to say, it is more flavorsome if fried.


750 g meat on bone (ex: lamb shanks)
1 bay leaf
1 can tomato, pureed
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili
750g aubergines
1 tsp salt


Cut the aubergines into thick strips or cubes, salt excessively, and set aside for 30 to 45 minutes.
Rinse the salt off the aubergines and pat dry.
Fry until golden brown, drain on paper towel from excess oil; set aside.

Heat the ghee or oil in a large pot.
Sear the meat on both sides until well browned.
Add the bay leaves and the chopped or sliced onion, and enough boiled water to cover the meat by an inch.
Cover and let simmer, skim if necessary, over medium low heat for an hour, adding some boiled water if too thick or drying out.
Add the canned tomato, paprika, pepper, oregano, and chili.
Boil covered over medium heat for another hour.
Add the teaspoon of salt, and the fried aubergines, gently swirling to incorporate.
Avoid mixing with a spoon because the aubergines are delicate and you do not want to turn them to mush.
Serve with rice.

 صحة و عافية


zahraa said...

One of my absolute favorite marga!!! I don't make it bc of eggplants sucking all the oil while frying them:(
Shukten :)

Maryam Mohammed said...

Yes the pictures really don't do it justice.
It is a great marga :)

B said...

As an alternative, Instead of frying I brush the aubergine rings with oil and grill them on both sides using a fan grill until they are medium brown. I found softening the onion rings in the microwave (covered) is a healthier substitute for frying. The vegitables and cooked meat are then placed in layers followed by the sauce. In addition to the herbs and spices you mentioned, I use garlic, Tamur hind (Tamarind) paste, a bit of pomegranate molasses and sometimes even some ground Numi Basra. This dish (tabsi) will only require 30 to 40 minutes cooking in a fan oven at 180 degrees C. I found that friends who are sceptical about grilling in place of frying often change their minds when they try the dish.

Maryam Mohammed said...

Those are excellent suggestions, especially brushing with oil then grilling the aubergines.
As for the tepsi, I have eaten it as baked, as you have described, but with kubba and aubergines, or kofta and aubergines (recipes to come!).
Thanks for your important contribution, I appreciate it.

B said...

Its a pleasure. I came across your blog by chance and I am very impressed. You have put a lot of effort and detail into your recipes. Keep up the good work.

Amina Ammar said...

Maryam al aziza, I have discovered your blog just a couple of days ago, and I can assure you that it is absolutely the BEST compilation of Iraqi recipes on the whole Internet - as a passionate cook and a lover of our Iraqi cuisine I have been searching for good recipes literally for decades, so I should know... :D I am now off to my kitchen to make this aubergine margah, and I just wanted to say - please keep up the good work, it is EXCELLENT!!! Salam wa fi aman Allah, Amina

Maryam Mohammed said...

Al hamdulillah, thank you Amina for your kind words and welcome to MCW! Nawal Nasrallah authored an amazing Iraqi cookbook titled "Delights from the Garden of Eden" which I cannot recommend enough.
Fi aman al Kareem; I would love to get your feedback!

Lorraine H said...

Dearest Maryam .. Ramadan Kareem .. you are my go to for Iraqi recipes.. best Iraqi recipes online .. margat baytinjan .. one of my hubby's favorite .. I will make it using your recipe today .. I usually add loomi Basra to it not bay leaves and also add garlic ,tamarind paste and pomegranate molasses.. Best regards and May God bless you always .. best regards from Lorraine Hussain (Malta )

Maryam Mohammed said...

Allahu akram, Ramadam mubarak Lorraine and thank you for this huge compliment. Your version sounds amazingly flavorful and I look forward to trying it.

Anonymous said...

When I was in the US army in Mosul, there was a small Cafe that served a version of this without meat. It also had this small round peppers. I always thought they called it tawa, but I could be wrong? It was a Kurdish Cafe, I believe.

Maryam said...

You are not welcome here. May your next meal poison your body and soul, you, your companions, and each of your supporters.