(Persian lamb and split pea stew)
Khoresht ghaimeh is a hearty, warming Persian stew in the repertoire of every Iranian cook. The lamb and split peas melt together in flavor and texture during the long simmering period. The recipe below includes potatoes in the stew. But it is often served instead with French fries on top.
There are a variety of spelling variations for the dish: gheymeh, gheimeh, gheyme, geymeh, qeymeh.
4 to 6 servings
- Yellow split peas -- 1 cup
- Oil -- 1/4 cup
- Stewing lamb or beef, cubed -- 1 1/2 pounds
- Onion, thinly sliced -- 3
- Tomato paste -- 3 tablespoons
- Paprika -- 2 tablespoons
- Turmeric -- 1 teaspoon
- Water -- 3 cups
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Small boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered -- 6
- Limes, juice only -- 2 or 3
- Place the split peas in a saucepan and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil, cover tightly with a lid, and remove from heat. Set the peas aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Brown the meat in batches and remove to a bowl or plate.
- Add the onions to the same oil and saute until thoroughly wilted and starting to caramelize. Stir in the tomato paste, spices, salt and pepper and continue to cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Return the meat to the pot and stir in the water. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Add water as necessary to maintain a stew-like consistency.
- Drain the soaked split peas and add the split peas and the potatoes to the pot. Simmer for another additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the peas and potatoes are thoroughly cooked.
- Stir in the lime juice, adjust seasoning and serve with rice.
Khoresht Ghaimeh Variations
- French fry garnish: A classic garnish for khorest ghaimeh is French fried potates. Instead of adding potatoes to the stew when you stir in the split peas, simply top each serving with freshly fried or baked French fries.
- Dried limes: Khoresht ghaimeh recipes normally call for 3 or 4 dried, crushed limes. If you can find them (try a Middle Eastern market), by all means use them. They should be added along with the other spices. If not, fresh lime juice is a fine substitute.