Mirza. Mirza is a wonderful, wonderful thing, very much one of my Top Five foods. It is awful-looking, a brownish mush of eggplant, tomato and egg, but the smoky, garlicky flavor is divine. My Mom’s friend Linda (another wonderful cook) is married to a Persian man and learned to cook all sorts of wonderful food from her Mother-in-Law. We have been eating mirza since I was a kid, and I crave it at random intervals. Sadly Mom refuses to make unless it is eggplant and tomato season. Ah, seasonality.
We made it as part of our Tapas dinner, though, and I think it was one of the best batches we ever made! I forgot to take pictures until most of the way through, so bear with me.
First, take your eggplant, a nice big one or two small ones, and grill it whole over lowish heat until it the sides collapse if you poke them (carefully) with your finger. Do not puncture the skin! Once the eggplant is all charred and soft, put it in a covered bowl or something to sit and think about what it’s done while you prep everything else. Seed and chop three or four nice ripe roma tomatoes, and mince a LOT of garlic, 6-8 cloves at least. Then gingerly peel the eggplant, making sure you catch all the nice juices in the bowl, and chop up the flesh. Leave all the seeds and stuff. Sauté the garlic in a good amount of olive oil until it is soft, then add in the eggplant and cook until you break it down a bit and it isn’t in chunks. Add in the tomato and cook until soft. In a glass, scramble up one egg. Next, make a hole in the middle:
And pour the egg into it. Scramble it a bit:
And then stir it through the eggplant mixture and get it all nicely cooked so there aren’t bits of raw white:
Not too pretty, eh? But oooooh man. Usually we eat it piping hot with hot pita triangles, but this time we had it with grilled bread (brushed with oil and rubbed with garlic before grilling) and that was even better. Everything was smoky and garlicky and fantastic.
I made it again the other night, to make sure I remembered the steps (I actually had to call mom to check how many tomatoes) and it wasn’t quite as good. We have a gas grill, while Mom and Dad use real-wood charcoal. Can’t beat the flavor, but mine was still pretty good and it got better the next day.