Khoresht-e 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, Limoo 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. Limoo 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.
- 1 cup yellow split peas, rinsed
- 4 cups water, divided (adjust as needed)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon Advieh, Persian spice mix (see note)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 pound stew meat, beef or lamb
- 3 Limoo Omani, Persian dried limes, poked through with a paring knife
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, adjust to your taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 1 tablespoon rosewater (or 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
- In a small pot bring the yellow split peas and 2 1/2 cups of 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 20 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 and set aside.
- While the yellow split peas are cooking, saute the onions in 4 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until golden.
- Add garlic, turmeric, advieh, tomato paste to the onions and continue to saute for an additional 2 minutes. This brings out the flavors of the spices and deepens the flavor of tomato paste.
- Place the stew meat in the pot and stir to coat each piece with the spices. Continue to cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of water and, bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook for 45 minutes over low heat.
- Add the partially cooked yellow split peas with their broth to the pot.
- Continue by adding the Limoo Omani, salt and sugar and gently stir. Bring the mixture back up to a simmer before reducing the heat and cooking for another 30-40 minutes, covered.
- 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 degree F oven and roast for about 30-35 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.
- After 30 minutes of cooking, 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-rosewater and gently mix.
- The stew should be slightly tart and dense with ingredients, but not too dry or runny with too much broth. 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.