(Persia Digest) – By far, one of the most popular dishes in Iran is the gheimeh stew. Although this is eaten on every occasion, it is also the main dish cooked during the month of Moharram, which is a religious mourning ceremony, and distributed among people as a vow.
Ingredients (serves 4)
300g Diced lamb
1 cup split peas
2 medium onions
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 dried limes
½ tsp flaked red pepper (optional)
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
Ground saffron (optional)
4 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the split peas two hours beforehand; change the water twice. Slice the onions in a pot and caramelize in oil until golden; add 1 tsp turmeric and stir.
Add the diced lamb and strained split peas to the onions on low heat and stir until the juices are absorbed.
Add the salt, pepper, flaked red pepper, and 1 tsp turmeric and stir; add the tomato paste and leave to cook for a couple of minutes to avoid a brownish color. Then add 4 cups of water and bring to boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and leave to simmer for a couple of hours.
When the meat is cooked, make holes in the dried lime with a fork and add to the stew. Taste it and leave to simmer for another hour.
During this time, wash, peel, and cut the potatoes lengthwise. Wash again and dry. Heat the oil and fry the chips.
Put the stew in a deep dish, decorate with the chips, and serve saffron rice.
*The saffron is optional. But if you add it at the end of the cooking time it will add lots of color and flavor to your dish.
*Cinnamon also adds taste to the dish. But add it towards the end to avoid a darkened color.
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