Kashk Bademjan via Marjan
1 lb ground beef preferably very lean (there will be plenty of other fat!)
4-5 Japanese eggplant, or 3 medium regular eggplants*, peeled and cut into roughly 3cm cubes
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T turmeric
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 c sour cream
lard for cooking (or oil if you prefer)
*If you're using regular eggplant, you ll need a saltwater soak. Make some very salty water in a big bowl, add eggplant and cover with a plate. Weigh it down with a can or cup or something. You want all the eggplant to be submerged. After about 30 mins, drain and continue with recipe.
1. In a large pan/pot/wok over medium high heat, brown ground beef well. Remove beef from pan and set aside.
2. Add to the pan the chopped onion. If there isn't enough fat left from the beef, add some lard. Brown the onion very well (see pic below). Add the garlic and cook for about 3-5 more mins, until cooked but not burned. Set aside with the beef (I just add it to one big bowl).
3. Add about 1/4 cup lard to the pan and let heat for a minute. Add all the eggplant and stir very fast until its all coated.
4. Add about 1/4 cup water to the pan and cover. The steam will help the egg plant begin to cook. When the water is almost gone, uncover and fry until the eggplant is very soft and brown, stirring every few mins.
5. Add the beef and onion/garlic mixture back to the pan, and add the turmeric and tomato paste. Stir to combine. You'll want to mash up the eggplant pieces a little too, just until they are a little smaller than bite size. I like mine a little chunky though traditionally it supposed to be a smooth, homogeneous mixture. Add sour cream. Salt to taste (about 1 t for me).
6. Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with dried mint fried in a little oil. I like a lot of mint, but base it on your taste. Usually this is served with lavash bread (similar to pita... kinda) but since I don't eat bread (MOST of the time) I made some cauliflower chips to go with it.
1 head cauliflower
EVOO or coconut oil, melted
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Cut cauliflower in half. Place halves cut side down and slice into 1/4-1/3 inch slices.
3. Spread out on a baking sheet in one layer (may take 2 pans) and coat in EVOO or melted CO.
4. Bake for about 20 mins. Flip the slices over and bake 20 more mins, or until browned and slightly crispy.
Here's my whole post (WITH PICS):