Yatimcheh Recipe: An Authentic Dish for Every Persian Food Lover

Yatimcheh Recipe

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Yatimcheh is no different from its popular cousin, kashke bademjan; it is one of those classics from Persian cuisine. The dish is quite simply a beautiful symphony of flavors, reflecting and seeming to embody all the warmth and depth of tradition in the Iranian culinary. A very homely and simply comforting dish, Yatimcheh has often been called the ‘orphan’s dish’ for the usage of humble, easily available ingredients to make something special.

Yatimcheh Recipe


  • 4 medium eggplants
  • 1 large potato, peeled and sliced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Step 1: Prepare the Eggplants

First, the eggplants are to be peeled. Afterward, they are to cut them into small cubes, about 1 centimeter by 1 centimeter.

Step 2: Soak the Eggplants

Take a big bowl, add 2 teaspoons of salt to it, and then pour 2 glasses of water into it. Add and mix well, so that the added water mixes with the salt. Now, dip the diced eggplants into this salted water and leave for about 30 minutes. This is done to remove the bitterness of the eggplants.

Step 3: Rinse the Eggplants

Drain the eggplants after soaking. Drain and rinse well with cold running water to remove the salt; set aside to drain.

Step 4: Prepare the Onion

Peel the onion and chop it finely. Ensure the pieces are small to blend well into the dish.

Step 5: Sauté the Onion

Put 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in the pan, heat it over moderate heat, and add the chopped onion to the hot oil. Fry the chopped onion, stirring every now and then, for about 3 minutes or until tender and only slightly golden.

Step 6: Add Spices

Add turmeric and a pinch of black pepper to the sautéed onion, and sauté with the rest for a further 2 minutes to allow the flavors from the spices to mingle and bloom.

Step 7: Prepare the Potatoes

While the onions sauté, proceed to peel the potatoes and cut into 1 cm cubes. Once the potatoes are cut, rinse with cold water and spread it out on a towel to dry the potatoes.

Step 8: Incorporate Garlic and Potatoes

Mince 4 cloves of garlic or grate. Add them to the pan with onions and spices and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the diced potatoes and sauté everything together for 5 minutes in the pan.

Step 9: Add Eggplants

Add the rinsed and drained eggplants to the pan, then add one more pinch of black pepper, the remaining turmeric, and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Step 10: Add Bell Peppers and Tomatoes

Finely chop the bell pepper and medium tomatoes, around four in quantity, and put this in the pan with a tablespoon of tomato paste. Mix together well to make sure all the ingredients are combined.

Step 11: Simmer the Yatimcheh

Mix it well and then add a half cup of water. You will cover the pan with a lid, keeping the flame low, and let the yatimcheh simmer for half an hour. The mixture would be tender and aromatic.

Step 12: Final Touch

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice if you want some brightening and such a nice, refreshing zing.

Step 13: Serve

Serve the Yatimcheh hot, accompanied by fresh bread. This dish is traditionally enjoyed as a warm, comforting meal.

Note: Yatimcheh with Beef

For a variation with beef, you can add chopped or ground beef to the pan after sautéing the onion. Add the cooked meat to the mix and sauté for 5 minutes to brown, following the rest of the steps as indicated. This part is what makes Yatimcheh a very strong dish, very suitable for those who look for something solid to eat.

Recipe Summary

Yatimcheh: Peel the eggplants and cube them. Put them in salted water to extract the bitterness of the eggplants. Wash them and put aside. Let the onions sauté in oil with turmeric and black pepper. Add the diced potatoes and rinsed potatoes with the garlic; then add eggplants, more spices, and lastly, chopped bell peppers and tomatoes with the tomato paste. Simmer with a bit more water, then finish with lemon juice and serve with bread. It may also be prepared with a meaty version by the addition of meat; it may be beef instead of onion at the beginning of the recipe.

category: Lunch
Update by in Saturday 6 April 2024

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