Thursday, November 10, 2011

Khoresht Gheimeh

It doesn't get more home cooking than Khoresht Gheymeh (Lamb and Split Pea Stew). Remember growing up and stealing the french fries while your Mom was cooking in the kitchen?? We sure do.

Ingredients (Serves about 6)
- 2 lbs of red meat (Beef stew or go fancy and get Top Sirlion)
- 1/3 or 1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
- 1.5 white/yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 6 Tablespoons of yellow split peas (1 Tablespoon per person)
- 2-3 potatoes
- Salt, Pepper, Turmeric and Ground Cinnamon
- 3-4 Limoo Amani (Dried limes, get this at Ethnic markets)
- Cooking Oil

- Cut meat into small little cubes
- Cut onions into small even pieces
- In a large pot, on medium to high heat, begin frying onions until golden brown.  Remove 1/3 and place in a plate for later use

- Right before you add the meat, add some crushed garlic to the onions and lightly fry.  Garlic can burn easily so add them at the end.  Now add the meat to the pot and stir so that each side of the meat cubes gets lightly seared. While stirring, add some turmeric powder (1-2 spoonfuls)

 - As you stir, the juices from the meat will start to evaporate
 - Once the meat juice has evaporated, add the tomato paste to the meat

- Add ground cinnamon, salt and pepper.  You can go easy on the salt and add more later.  Too much salt can dry out the meat.

- Add 3-4 Limoo Amani to the stew; make sure to add some holes into the dried limes

-  Now its time to add water to the stew

 - Add enough water so that about a half of your fork is submerged under the water while hitting the meat.  You will let this simmer (with the lid on)  for about 2 hours.  You want it be a light boil with not a lot of bubbles.

- Quickly wash and drain your split peas
- Optional step: In a small pot, add some cooking oil and lightly fry the peas

-  Add water and boil the split peas.  While boiling, the mixture might foam up; use a spoon to remove it.  Some peas cook faster than others so we cook it separately and add it to the stew before right before serving.

-  About 30 minutes before serving, add the split peas to the stew.  You can also add your fried onions that you had previously set aside to the stew at this time as well.

-  While the stew is boiling, cut up potatoes into long "french fry" looking strands.
- Option 1:  Healthy version no frying: Add the potatoes to the stew and let the boil along with the rest of the khoresht
- Option 2:  Fry the potatoes in some oil and add some salt.  You may want to put the cut up potatoes in a bowl of water for 20min first, it's supposed to make the frying process go a little faster.
- Option 3:  Do half boiled and half fried (what I prefer)

- In addition to the Limoo Amani (dried lemons) in the stew, you can also add Limoo Amani powder (if you can get your hands on some) to the stew to adjust the sourness.

- Veggie Version: This meal can be made vegetarian style also.  Increase the amount of split peas and potato.  Fried eggplant and Fried Tofu can be added in as well.

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