I would describe Mirza Qasemi as an aubergine and tomato scramble. You can have it as a starter with bread, as a snack or as a side dish.
I wish I could see Iran in person but as I know this will probably never happen, I have settle for “travelling” there through its cuisine. As with most of my dishes, I’ve only ever cooked them by myself and have never had the original made by an actual native but I do try to get recipes from the natives especially the old family recipes and if not I just blag it; the end result tends to be just as delicious.
I was given the recipe to this dish on a piece of paper written in Farsi by a friend of a friend of a friend but I lost it. One day, when I least expected it, I found it but it was in a right state. Its disastrous state and the fact it was written in Farsi didn’t help but as I am familiar with the Arabic alphabet (similar to the Persian alphabet) I managed to decipher it using an online translator. Not ideal but it did the trick; more or less.
Without further ado, here it is.
2 large aubergines
3 large ripe tomatoes, grated
1 garlic head, sliced
1 tsp. turmeric powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
Salt, to taste
3 medium eggs, beaten
Fresh parsley, chopped to garnish
1 First you need to cook the aubergines. You can do this two ways: either baked in the oven or roasted over an open flame.
To cook in the oven: preheat oven to 200ºc and bake the aubergines for 25-35 minutes. Make some incisions in the aubergine to prevent it from exploding in the oven. When ready, remove the skin and dice into pieces
To cook over an open flame: place the aubergines directly on top of the stove burner and roast until the skin has blackened, turn until all sides are cooked. It should take a few minutes on each side. When cooked plunge in ice cold water, remove the skin and roughly dice the flesh. This method imparts a smoky taste to the overall dish.
2 Fry garlic slices in plenty olive oil and then add turmeric and cinnamon. Add diced tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes, until they have broken down.
3 Once the tomatoes have broken down, add the aubergine pulp and cook on a medium flame; lightly mash all the ingredients together until everything is well incorporated.
4 Make some holes in the aubergine mixture and pour the beaten eggs in. Let the eggs cook for a bit and when they have nearly set combine all the ingredients together. The trick is to not stir everything together too early because otherwise the eggs will basically disappear.
!نوش جان Noushe jan, as my lovely Iranians would say. That’s bon appetit to you and me.