October 09, 2013

Khoresh Sib o Gheysi - Persian Apple Stew with Dried Apricot

It's October and to celebrate the arrival of autumn, the most delicious season, I've decided to make خورش سیب و قیسی - Persian apple stew with dried apricots. This is a vibrant and tasty khoresh - stew that is made with beef, tart apples, tangy sweet dried apricots, lime juice and a warm flavor of cinnamon.

Fall is also the season for returning back to school, learning and gaining knowledge. As someone who has been a Persian language instructor for a number of years, I'd like to say a few words to my dear, young Iranian parents out there. It's so important to teach your children the language of their heritage, to speak Persian at home as much as possible and to teach them the الفبا - alphabet. Learning a new language is not easy. It takes patience and persistence but it's well worth it.

This recipe can be made with lamb or chicken and other fruits such as sour cherries and plums. I used Granny Smith apples because they are firm, tart, juicy and hold up well. You can use any type of apple as long as they are tart, firm and good for cooking.

Those of who follow my blog regularly may have noticed that I seldom use ادویه - advieh, a Persian spice which is a mixture of many spices used both in stews and rice. Since this recipe requires a little bit of warm and earthy seasoning to enhance the flavor I made my own advieh but just enough for one dish only. The necessary ingredients for advieh with the exact measurements are listed below in the recipe.

Persian Apple Stew with Dried Apricot

Serves 4-6

2 pounds boneless stew beef, washed and cubed
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 cup dried apricots
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium ripe tomato, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon crushed rose petals
1/3 teaspoon crushed cardamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves *optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil/vegetable oil

  1. In a large bowl combine the apple slices and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. In a large stewing pot, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil, on medium-high heat, add the chopped onions, stirring occasionally, saute until soft and golden brown. Add the turmeric powder, stir well and add the minced garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes. Don't leave the pot unattended, garlic burns quickly.
  3. Add the beef cubes and brown on all sides. Add the tomatoes, crushed rose petals, cardamom, and salt and pepper to taste. Add enough hot water to cover all ingredients by 2-3 inches. Bring back to a boil for five minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for an hour or until meat is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan, add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves until apples are just golden and soften a little. Add the flour, stirring well to blend.
  5. Add the apples, apricots and sugar to the stew, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat until the flavors come together. Add a little water if necessary and adjust the seasoning.
Serve warm in a bowl with rice, yogurt and salad.

Recently, I had an interview with the Flavorful World blog. Here's the interview link.

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