It's name is "Gheymeh!" Khoresh-e Gheymeh! I will not call this dish a stew, or a casserole, or anything else for that matter. In my book it's one of the top five Khoresh's and there are many delicious stews in the Persian cuisine. Hopefully, I'll get to share them with you all, one dish at a time!
This is a simple but very tasty dish that, for me, not only satisfies my hunger, but warms my heart and soothes my occasional longing for home, even after all these years. However, as soon as I start cooking gheymeh, slicing an onion and pouring oil into a heated pan, the aroma of sauteed onion with turmeric, browning meat, stirring in those tiny yellow split peas and piercing the dried lemons, I feel at home once again.
2 pounds meat (lamb or beef), washed and cut into small pieces
1 cup yellow split peas, picked over and washed.
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
4-5 dried limes (limoo amani) may be purchased from an Iranian/Persian grocery stores. Soak them in water for 5 minutes and then pierce them in a few places with a dinner fork.
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon rosewater *optional
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large potatoes, peeled, sliced and fried for topping
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pot over medium heat, add the tomato paste and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until it starts to change color. Set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onions and saute until they are translucent, add turmeric and stir well. After a minute or two, add the meat and brown on all sides. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir well.
- Add the yellow split peas to the pot and saute for 5 minutes, spoon in the the tomato paste. Mix thoroughly.
- Add water to cover all the ingredients in the pot by 1-2 inches. Add in the dried limes. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 1-1/4 hours or until the meat is well-cooked. Add a little bit of water and adjust the seasoning when needed.
- Yellow split peas shouldn't turn too soft and mushy, they still need to have a bit of bite to them. You may parboil them separately until they are just tender and add them to the pot in the last 30 minutes.
- In the last ten minutes add the rosewater if you like.