Mirza Ghassemi (Persian Eggs with Eggplant, Turmeric, and Tomatoes)
I spend a lot of time learning as much as I can about my Persian background. You see, my mother is Iranian and my father is American and I have lived most of my life in the U.S. And since I married an Iranian, well, I have a lot to learn.
Persian food and Persian culture, the real Persian culture without religion mixed in, is quite extraordinary and beautiful. Both include vibrant colors and robust flavors. We love our herbs and our dishes are not heavily spiced or spicy like other cultures. Everything melds together to create a very flavorful dish.
Stews, basmati rice, and kabobs—we have quite a variety of meals to share with the world. I enjoy discovering them, cooking them for my family, and quite frankly, devouring them.
Fresh ingredients, lots of vegetables, and lots of flavors is the basic formula for most Persian dishes.
Mirza Ghassemi is one dish I discovered several years ago during my Persian food self-exploration. Translated, it means “Mr. Ghassemi,” which tells you nothing about the dish! It originates from the northern part of Iran, the Gilan Province near the Caspian Sea. Many of the dishes from this area include garlic—a whole lot of garlic. And this egg dish is no exception.
First, you start with eggplant. You can grill it, roast it, or sauté it. In this version of Mirza Ghassemi (Persian eggs with eggplant, turmeric, and tomatoes), I sauté the eggplant. I prefer using baby or Japanese eggplants. They are firm, full of flavor, and tend to have less water than the large versions of eggplant. You need to salt your eggplant and let it sit for an hour, so all of the water can be released. This aids in the cooking process.
Add some onions, garlic, turmeric, and fresh tomatoes and your kitchen will smell like a dream. The final touch is adding some whisked eggs and cooking it all together. I like a chunkier textured Mirza Ghassemi, but many people serve it mixed together like a dip. With the addition of lavash or pita bread, fresh herbs, and radishes you have one amazing feast that appeals to all of your senses.
If you choose Davidson’s Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs for all of your egg recipes, you won’t have to worry about cross contamination from foodborne illnesses like Salmonella and avian flu.