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Iran Joon is one of my mom’s oldest friends. I have written about her on MPK in the past, specifically in my Sholeh Zard post. Today’s recipe, Borani Bademjan ba Ghojeh Faranghi, which is a Yogurt dip with eggplant and tomatoes, comes from Iran joon as well.

Last time I visited my mom in Rome, Italy, it was during Christmas vacation in 2011. As always we made plans to see Iran Joon. My mom had warned me that our dear friend had aged a lot since I had seen her a couple of years earlier. I initially thought that my mom was exaggerating; sure enough she wasn’t. Regardless, to me she still looked beautiful even without her signature perfectly coiffed hair, makeup, and nails. I was very happy to see Iran Joon and she to see me. Best of all, she gets my personality because, unlike my mom and sister, I am not quiet and when I laugh, I laugh loud from the bottom of my heart. During the time that we were together we talked, joked, laughed, ate, and talked food.

During our food conversation Iran joon gave me a wonderful gift. She passed on her Persian cookbook to me so that I can use it for My Persian Kitchen.

I was super excited to have yet another cookbook to use as a reference, especially one that was published in Iran in 1967 (1346 as far as the Persian calendar is concerned)! Fast forward a few days and the Sous Chef and I are back from our trip to Rome; the book is no where to be found in our luggage. I searched and searched every where; the book had simply disappeared. I called my mom and asked her if I had left it at her house; sadly her answer was no. For the life of me I could not figure out what happened to the book. Seriously. Did the TSA take it from my luggage??!! If they did, why take the cookbook and leave behind the delicious Italian and Swiss wines and goodies that pretty much made up one of our luggages? I was very sad about having lost the book.

So fast forward to December 2012. I take out our luggage to pack for our Christmas vacation. I open a small pocket on the top portion of my suitcase, and what you know, there is THE BOOK! I was so happy I screamed! Exactly one year later the cookbook was found! How I missed it a year before, I will never know.

After having gone through the whole cookbook’s recipes I decided on the ones that I wanted to make as some of the Persian recipes I had never heard of before, including today’s. Once I started reading the recipes, I realized that some of the measurements were a bit off but most importantly the directions were not only unclear but either lacking or confusing. In fact, today’s recipe’s directions just simply stopped halfway through the process. Did the author forgot to include the rest of the directions??!!! Did she get up to get a tea break and forgot to write the rest??!!

I consulted with my mom and after doing some experimenting I got the ingredients right. This recipe was way too delicious sounding to allow for the confusing and half directions to stop me from making it.

I am a huge fan of Borani and I have featured a Spinach and Eggplant Borani on MPK before. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Ingredients (serves 4 t0 6 people)

1 1/2 lb eggplant
1/2 lb tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 cup yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 cup oil
salt & pepper
Lavash bread or Pita Chips

Cut eggplants in 1/2 inch rounds width wise. Place on a cooling rack placed in a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

Whip off the salt from the eggplants. Add oil to a frying pan and fry eggplants until just golden, making sure that they do not burn. Once cooked, place eggplants in a dish lined with a paper towel.

In the mean time, cut tomatoes in half and remove their seeds.

Place tomatoes in a food processor and process until the chucks turn into pulp.

Add minced garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse one more time.

In a pot bring half a cup of water to a boil. Place in a glass and set aside.

Line the bottom of the same pot with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. The arrange the eggplant slices in the pot.

Pour the tomato pulp over the eggplant.

With the back of the spoon gently spread the tomato pulp all over the eggplant. Add the 1/2 cup reserved hot water. Cook uncovered on low for about 2o to 30 minutes until all the juices evaporate. Make sure that the eggplants don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Gently move the eggplant pieces around so that they break. At this point the eggplant will be cooked and soft so it will fall apart when stirred.

Add yogurt to the eggplant and tomato pulp mixture. Mix well. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve warm or at room temperature with either Lavash Bread or Pita Chips.

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