Persian Lamb Eggplant Potato Casserole

by R.B. Quinn
Persian Eggplant Potato Lamb Casserole

Our Persian Eggplant Potato Lamb Casserole gets its inspiration from the Iraqi markets that populate Nashville’s Nolensville Road international corridor. The Iraqi markets offer a seemingly endless array of unfamiliar ingredients to experiment with at home. More than that, the merchants, bakers, butchers, and shawarma stand guys are invariably kind, generous, and friendly. They always seem glad to see us, and warmly call me “Brother.” I wonder if they feel as welcome in other parts of town.

The ground, seasoned lamb for quick kabobs is a regular purchase for us and it grills beautifully on metal skewers for really fun Lamb Kabobs. But, when a cold, rainy night calls for indoor cooking, a pound of this meat is the key to our Persian Eggplant Potato Lamb Casserole. Delicious and elegant (or homey, as the occasion requires), this dish is an easily layered combination of:

  • cooked ground meat
  • roasted eggplant, any shape you like
  • boiled sliced potatoes
  • onion and garlic sautéed in oil, with a can of diced tomatoes mixed in.

Cover the dish, slide it into a hot oven, and you’re there. That’s the whole game. By the way, our Italian version of this dish swaps lamb for beef and cumin for oregano. 

The approach in this recipe leaves plenty of space for you to adjust whatever you need in order for this dish to suit your parameters of the moment. If you’re off potatoes, make a couple of cups of brown basmati or jasmine rice in your electric rice cooker to serve with.

Persian Eggplant Potato Lamb CasserolePersian Eggplant Potato Lamb CasserolePersian Eggplant Potato Lamb Casserole

A note about the meat: big range of options here — from skip it entirely to use any ground meat you like — beef, lamb, beef/lamb blend, chicken, or turkey. When we don’t have the already-seasoned lamb from Iraqi markets, we season the meat with whatever shawarma seasoning packet falls out of the spice cabinet first, like this one:

Persian Eggplant Potato Lamb Casserole

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