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Syrian Eggplant Stew (Kawaj)

Eggplant stew is a popular vegetarian dish in Syria and the Levant area, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. It is called kawaj . It’s full of flavor and color and it is served as a main dish.

Kawaj combines all the best of summer vegetables in a delicious way . Eggplant, bell peppers, potatoes, and onions are roasted together with fresh tomato sauce to make a succulent meal that will be a favorite for the whole family.

To take advantage of the flavor from in-season tomatoes, we make a sauce to coat all of the veggies, as opposed to just adding chopped tomatoes. It’s an uncommon but necessary step that makes all of the difference.

Eggplant stew is very rich in benefits because it contains all nutrients.



2 large eggplants, peeled and cut in 1½-inch pieces

4 potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion coarsely grated

½ cup vegetable oil or olive oil


1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

½ cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves and tender stems

3 medium tomatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped

Parsley leaves for garnish



1- Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium-high. Cook the onion for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Layer potatoes on top, followed by a layer of eggplant. Sprinkle with paprika, pepper and 2 teaspoons of the salt, then the chopped parsley. Do not stir. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

2- Place the tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more, until tomatoes begin to soften.

3- Stir the contents of the pan, cover and cook for 15 minutes, until the vegetables become tender, and the sauce has thickened.

4- Top with parsley and serve.


Lara Khouli