Beef and yellow split pea stew with roasted potatoes

Khoresht-e Gheymeh

خورشت قیمه

Khoresht-e Gheymeh is a well-recognized and familiar 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 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 face as they experience the unique smell. Limoo Omani is another treasured gift of Iran to the culinary world!

Multiple spices and dried limes: that is how we do meat and potato stew! I usually serve this stew with a side of salad shirazi or cucumber and mint yogurt.

Khoresht-e Gheymeh

Beef and yellow split pea stew with roasted potatoes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Resting time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: beef, lamb, Limoo Omani, stew, yellow split pea
Servings: 4
Author: Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil or ghee, divided
  • 1 cup yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 4-5 cups water, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Advieh, Persian spice mix (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust to your taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound stew meat, beef or lamb
  • 4 Limoo Omani, Persian dried limes, poked through with a paring knife
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to resemble french fries
  • 4 tablespoons freshly orange juice

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Add garlic, turmeric, advieh, salt and pepper to the onions and continue to saute for an additional 2 minutes to bring out the flavors of the spices.
  • Place the stew meat in the pot and stir to coat each piece with the spices. Continue to cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add 2 cups of water and the dried limes, bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook for 30 minutes over low heat.
  • Add the partially cooked yellow split peas with their broth to the pot, add the tomato paste and gently stir, Bring the mixture back up to a gentle boil before reducing heat and cooking for another 30 minutes, covered.
  • While the meat is cooking, toss the potatoes with 4 tablespoons of oil and a pinch of salt and place single layered on a baking sheet.
  • Place the potatoes in a 375 degree 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.
  • 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 fresh orange juice and taste to ensure the stew has the right balance for salt and sour. Adjust as needed. The stew should be dense with ingredients, but not too dry or runny with too much broth.
  • 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.

Notes

Advieh – Persian spice mix
Combine equal portions of the following spices to have one hand.  Store in a dark and airtight container for future use.
Ground cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and rose petals
Limoo Omani
Persian dried limes are available at Persian or Middle Eastern markets.  

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