1 lb beef / lamb, cubed (use a nice stewing cut for beef, like chuck roast)
2 large onions, 1 ½ sliced thin & ½ diced
¾ cup yellow split peas (dir paz variety is preferred)
¼ cup crushed Persian dried limes (Limu Omani, crush 2-3 depending on taste)
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp butter
3-4 tbsp oil
3 cups water
1 tsp Persian spice blend (I used ginger, paprika, and turmeric)
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground saffron (optional for color)
Heat the oil in a large skillet and fry the onions over medium / medium low until golden brown. Get this started first and turn off the heat if it finishes before step 5.
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the cubed meat and brown as much as possible. Remove the meat and add the diced onions and turmeric powder until it looks like it’s about to burn, then add 3 cups of water to the pot.
Return the meat to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on medium-low for 20-30 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
While the meat is cooking, rinse your split peas to remove the surface starch. Add them to a small pot and cover them with water by around 1 inch. Salt the water and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Cook uncovered for 6-7 minutes, or until tender but firm. Drain the split peas and rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process.
Once the onions from step 1 have turned golden brown, add the tomato paste and saute for 3-4 minutes or until aromatic, adding a little bit more oil if needed. Add the cooked split peas, 2 tbsp butter, crushed dried limes, saffron, and spice blend. Saute this mixture for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the cooked meat, onions, and cooking broth into the large skillet. Stir to combine the ingredients, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes on low heat. After this time, the split peas should be tender while still maintaining their shape.
After the long simmer, adjust salt levels to taste. Serve with steamed rice, fried potatoes, tahdig, or any other starch to soak up the sauce.
An Iranian beef and split pea stew. Gheymeh refers to how the meat is cut into small cubes, whereas most Persian khoresh have larger chunks of meat. This lightly spice stew balances rich meat and tomato flavor with acid, with the split peas providing a nice textural contrast