Yatimcheh (Iranian Eggplant, Tomato & Potato Stew)


Yatimcheh is a comforting, economical and easy-to-prepare Iranian vegetarian stew of eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes. This dish can be prepared year-round but is particularly flavorful with sweet late-summer tomatoes and eggplant. 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. Read more about the author's connection to the recipe in Even Though We're Miles Apart, My Mother Still Guides Me at My Stove.

Photo: Joy Howard
Prep Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 servings


  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds; see Tips), peeled and cubed (1-inch)

  • ½ cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided (see Tips)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste (see Tips)

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato (about 8 ounces), diced (1/2-inch)

  • 2 large tomatoes (about 10 ounces), diced (1/2-inch)

  • ¾ cup water, as needed

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


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

  2. Place eggplant in the middle of the prepared pan; drizzle with 1/4 cup oil, sprinkle with 3/4 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 OK if it does slightly.) Set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat; add the remaining 1/4 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 1/4 teaspoon salt, reduce heat to medium and add garlic and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until the garlic and turmeric are fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  4. 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 3/4 cup. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, increase the heat and bring the stew to a gentle boil.

  5. 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.


Equipment: Parchment paper

Tips: Choose a shiny firm eggplant. Eggplant seeds can make a dish bitter. If you cut into the eggplant and there are a lot of seeds you can simply trim away some of the seeds. In place of 1 large globe eggplant, you could also use 3 Chinese eggplants or 4 Japanese eggplants.

When choosing kosher salt be aware that different brands taste saltier than others and adjust accordingly. For this recipe we recommend Diamond Crystal, which is less salty than other brands such as Morton.

To crush garlic to a paste: I like to do this in a mortar and pestle with a little salt that acts as an abrasive. You can also simply use a microplane. Or use a cutting board, the side of the knife and some salt (this takes a little more effort).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

376 Calories
28g Fat
31g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 3/4 cup
Calories 376
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 5g 9%
Total Fat 28g 35%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Vitamin A 794IU 16%
Vitamin C 36mg 40%
Folate 64mcg 16%
Sodium 506mg 22%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Magnesium 56mg 13%
Potassium 987mg 21%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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