Yatimcheh (Iranian Eggplant, Tomato & Potato Stew)

Adapted from Naz Deravian

Suggestions from the author: “Serve yatimcheh with flatbread, like lavash or sangak, or rice, with a side of fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, basil or green onions, and plain yogurt.”


1 large eggplant (about 1¼ pounds), peeled and cubed (1-inch)
½ cup olive oil, divided
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 large potato, or smaller equivalent (about 8 ounces), diced (½-inch), about 1½-2 cups
2 large tomatoes (about 10 ounces), diced (½-inch) or 1 cup of canned tomatoes
¾ cup water, as needed
¼ teaspoon ground pepper


Place rack in middle of oven; preheat to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place eggplant in the middle of the prepared pan; drizzle with ¼ cup oil, sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Spread the eggplant evenly across the pan. Roast until softened, about 15 minutes. (You're not looking for the eggplant to take on any color here, but it’s fine if it does slightly.) Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat; add the remaining ¼ cup oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is nice and golden with a few golden-brown pieces, about 12 minutes. (You really want to draw out all the flavor from the onion here, so take your time. Reduce the heat slightly if necessary, but remember you want the onion to take on color.) Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, reduce heat to medium and add garlic and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until the garlic and turmeric are fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add potatoes; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the eggplant; stir to incorporate and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, about ¾ cup. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, increase the heat and bring the stew to a gentle boil.

Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant and tomatoes collapse into each other, the potatoes are soft and creamy and all the flavors have melded, 25 to 30 minutes. Taste the stew as it cooks, adding a little more water if necessary and adjusting the seasoning. Most of the water should be absorbed into the vegetables--if the stew is too juicy, uncover and simmer for a few minutes to reach the desired consistency.