This easy stew is a perfect weekend dish for when the days start getting a little colder and you need a big pot of hearty goodness!
It is my recipe offering for the Mehrgan recipe share that a group of 30 Persian food bloggers have organised for 9th October 2014. Click here to to find out more about Jashn-e Mehrgan, the Persian Harvest Festivaland get some yummy Persian autumnal recipes by some passionate and talented Persian bloggers from across the globe.
If you can, use lamb shoulder on the bone for the best flavour. You can buy in at a butchers and ask them to trim off all the fat and cut it into small chunks. Alternatively use lamb steaks from the supermarket and add some chicken or vegetable stock to give it some oompf. Dried limes add the unique Persian flavour to this dish with their sour and slightly bitter aroma. You can buy them from most Middle Eastern shops or online. I’ve included two options for toppings – potatoes or aubergines. Gheimeh is just as good with either topping (and extra delicious with both!)
Serve with rice and a green salad.
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1.2kg lamb (on the bone preferably) cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tbsp liquid saffron
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
150g yellow split peas
3 tbsp tomato purée
6 dried limes
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1. Fry the onions in a large casserole pot until they are soft. Add the garlic and fry for another few minutes.
2. Add the meat, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cinnamon and fry until the meat is brown on all sides. Then add the saffron, tomato puree, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Add enough cold water to cover the meat (around 500ml) then put the lid on the pot and cook over a low heat for about an hour and a half. While the meat is cooking wash the split peas and leave to soak in cold water.
3. Around 30 minutes into the cooking time pierce the dried limes with a fork a few times and add them to the stew along with the yellow split peas and another 250ml of water.
4. After the stew has been cooking for 1 hour add 1 teaspoon of salt. Squash the dried limes against the sides of the pot until they burst to release their juices and stir well. Then continue cooking until the split peas are cooked through and the lamb is tender.
7. When the Gheimeh is almost ready, prepare your topping:
Slice the potato into matchstick sized pieces, salt them and fry until they are crispy. Set them aside on some kitchen paper to drain and sprinkle over the stew just before serving.
Serve with white rice and a green salad.