The past few weeks or so, I have made a few Persian inspired dishes inspired mostly by Iranian food bloggers, rather than from the spate of mainstream Middle Eastern cookbooks published recently in the UK. It started as a means to find inspirational ways of using my spices such as Advieh, Baharat, Sumac, Za'atar and ingredients such as Maftoul and Freekeh, but like any curious cook I have been lured and enticed by other recipes.
When I saw an Iranian style Koresh tweeted by The Persian Fusion, I just knew I had to make a vegetarian variation of it. Something about it had me salivating.
Koresht/Khoresht/Ghalyeh are stews or curries in Persian cooking. They should not be compared to South Asian curries popular in the Western world. Persian stews and curries are quite mild.
I substituted the chicken breasts with Quorn 'chicken' fillets and adjusted the spices to taste and the tomato sauce accordingly. It was important to make the tomato sauce thicker to carry the texture of Quorn fillets which can be quite dry and tough to penetrate with flavours. In fact, I think its better to make this dish a day in advance, as the Quorn fillets became succulent by absorbing and taking on some of the flavours from the sauce and natural ochre colour from the turmeric. Disclaimer*: I have been using Quorn products well before starting this blog, therefore this is not sponsored #Quornivore blog post, I have not been given this product free or paid by Quorn in any way.
As recommended we ate this vegetarian Iranian stew with rice. I liked how both the courgettes and aubergines - both rather bland vegetable in my opinion melted wonderfully in the dish, giving the dish more substance and texture. I would be more than happy to make this again.
Thank you Persian Fusion.
Iranian Style Quorn 'Fillets' Stew with Aubergines and Courgettes
2 aubergines, sliced thickly
2 courgettes, slices thickly into coins
Olive oil for cooling
2 onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 ground cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
1 packet Quorn 'chicken' fillets, defrosted and scored* (genrally 6 pieces)
Optional: 100ml water or vegetable stock
Generously coat the aubergines and courgettes with oil, and then roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then flip over and roast on other side until tender.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the aubergines and courgettes are roasting in the oven, heat 2 - 3 tablespoons oil, then stir in the onion and cook until soft and translucent.
Stir int he spices and cook for a few minutes, before stirring in the chopped tomatoes.
Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat until the tomatoes begin to collapse and oil comes to the surface.
Evenly distribute the roasted aubergine and courgette slices into the pan, then arrange the chicken fillets on top with additional water if using.
Allow to bubble, then reduce the heat and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until the fillet pieces are cooked.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and give it a good stir, cook until the sauce is thick.
Serve hot with rice.
Adapted from The Persian Fusion.