Khoresh Gheymeh is a well-recognized and popular dish to Iranians: a comforting meat-and-potato stew that has all the familiar flavors of Persian cuisine.
The stew is flavored with the Persian spice mixture called Advieh, containing warming spices such as cinnamon and cardamom, earthy cumin and coriander, and a gentle kiss of ground rose petals. But what truly puts a Persian stamp on this dish is the use of Persian dried limes, Limu Omani.
Persian dried limes have a strong sour, citrus flavor and a deep, earthy fermented profile. This unique profile is the result of the preservation process, in which the limes are left out in the sun for a long period to dry out. The end result is simply just short of magic, with complex and rich multi-dimensional notes of sour and bitter accompanied by an intoxicating aroma.
I love nothing more than to give a bag of dried Persian limes to someone who has never experienced them, and then sit back and watch the look on their faces as they experience the unique scent. Limu Omani is another treasured gift of Iran to the culinary world!
Colorful spices and dried limes: that is how Iranians do meat and potato stew! I usually serve this stew with a side of salad Shirazi or cucumber and mint yogurt.
Yellow split peas
- 1/2 cup yellow split peas, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups water, adjust as needed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
- 1 pound stew beef, 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cup water, adjust as needed
- 3 Limu Omani, Persian dried limes, poked through with a paring knife
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, adjust to your taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon Advieh, Persian spice mix, optional (see note)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to resemble french fries
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
Yellow split peas
- In a small pot bring the yellow split peas and water to a gentle boil. Keep an eye on the pot as yellow split peas produce lots of foam and can spill over.
- Once boiling, partially cover and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. The yellow split peas are partially cooked at this stage and will continue to cook further once integrated into the stew. Remove from the heat, strain and set aside.
- Saute the onions with oil in a large pot over medium heat for 15 minutes,
- Add turmeric and saute for an additional 2 minutes. The onions should be golden in color and aromatic at this stage.
- Add the beef pieces to the onions and increase the flame to medium-high and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Continue by adding the tomato paste and saute for a couple of minutes on medium heat to bring out the flavor of the tomato paste.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of water, cover, and cook for 45 minutes over low heat.
- Continue by adding the Limu Omani, salt, pepper, Advieh, and sugar to the stew. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Gently stir in the partially cooked yellow split peas, and continue to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
- While the meat is cooking, toss the potatoes with oil, salt, and turmeric and place single-layered on a baking sheet.
- Place the potatoes in a 375°F oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy. I prefer to use a convection oven to roast the potatoes to a golden perfection without having to flip the potatoes over. If not using convection, be sure to flip the potatoes once.
Stew – continued
- Check the stew to ensure the meat is fully cooked and tender while the majority of the yellow split peas are still holding their shape.
- Add the saffron-water and gently mix.
- The stew should be slightly tart and dense with ingredients, but not too dry or runny with liquid. Adjust as needed.
- Take the stew off the heat, and allow to set for 10 minutes.
- Place the stew in a serving bowl and top with the crispy golden potatoes and serve with Persian saffron basmati rice.