Recipe type: Khoresh/Stew on Rice
1 pound cross rib roast beef or a similar roast, cubed to 1-inch pieces (may use cubed lamb instead)
1 TBSP butter
½ large onion diced
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp black pepper
3 cups water
¾ cup yellow split peas (I prefer the dir paz variety)
½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ large onion sliced thin and fried to golden brown (5 ounces fried onions)
3-4 TBSP vegetable oil to fry the onions
2 TBSP tomato paste
¼ cup crushedlimoo amani (dried Persian lime)
2 whole limoo amani (Pierce the sides with the tip of a sharp knife and soak in hot water for 5 minutes before adding it to the stew)
1 tsp Persian Meat Spice (your choice of original blend, or blend II)
1 tsp kosher salt (to be added to the cooked meat)
⅛ tsp ground saffron (optional)
2 TBSP butter
FOR THE SAFFRON POTATO
3 medium white potatoes peeled and cut into thin wedges
Dash of saffron (optional)
¼ cup vegetable oil for frying the potato wedges
Kosher salt to taste, sprinkled over the fried potatoes
FOR THE AROMATIC RICE
2 ½ cups rice
1 ½ tsp Persian Rice Spice
Pieces of lavash or flour tortilla for Tahdig
Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the cubed beef, diced onion, turmeric powder, and ground black pepper (salt will be added later). Saute for 10 minutes until the meat is browned and the natural juices are bubbling.
Add 3 cups water, cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the meat is tender. After the meat is cooked there should be about 2 ½ cups of broth in the pot.
Meanwhile pick through the split peas for any possible debris. Add them to a small saucepan and fill the pan with cold water and wash the peas and discard the water. Add Fresh water to the saucepan and repeat couple of times to clean the peas.
Next add enough cold water to cover the split peas by one inch. Add ½ tsp salt and bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Cook uncovered for 5-6 minutes, or until the split peas are more tender but still very firm. If the peas get fully cooked at this stage they will get mushy after they are cooked later with the meat and sauce. Drain the peas into a colander and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet and fry the sliced onions until golden brown. Add the tomato paste and saute for another 3-4 minutes until aromatic. Add the cooked split peas, 2 TBSP butter, ¼ cup crushed dried limes (about 2-3), ⅛ tsp optional saffron and 1 tsp Persian Meat Spice. Saute over medium low heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the cooked beef, broth, and 1 tsp kosher salt to the skillet. Stir to combine the ingredients. Add 2 whole limes that have been soaking in hot water, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to the mark between medium low and low. Cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the meat, split peas and dried limes are tender and the sauce has thickened.
Meanwhile peel and slice the potatoes into ½-inch long sticks. Place the potatoes in a colander and rinse under cold water to get rid of the starch that is on the surface so the potatoes do not stick together when fried. Pat dry the potatoes with a paper towel before frying. If using the optional saffron, you will need to add the potatoes to a medium bowl and sprinkle a dash of saffron on the potatoes and toss to coat.
Heat the ¼ cup vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. The oil should be very hot but not smoking. Gently add the potatoes to the hot oil and stir couple of times to coat all of the potatoes with oil, then fry them in a single layer for 15-20 minutes, stirring and turning so the potatoes are tender and light golden brown on all sides. Transfer the fried potatoes to a platter covered with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Immediately sprinkle the fries with about ¼ tsp kosher salt.
To serve, add Steamed Aromatic Rice to the plates and add Gheymeh on top. Next top the Gheymeh with fried potatoes.
Please refer to the How To section on my blog for Aromatic Steamed Rice directions.
Yellow Split Peas: If you have to use the regular yellow split peas which is sold in neighborhood supermarkets boil it in water for 2-3 minutes, discard the water and run the split peas under cold water to stop them from cooking further. Then add the peas to Gheymeh in the last 20 minutes of cooking to prevent them from over cooking.
Persian Rice Spice: The Persian Rice Spice is a blend of 5 ground spices: Rose petals, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg and cardamom. The proportions are different depending on who is making the spice blend. I make mine in the order that it is written, with 3 parts rose petals, 2 cinnamon, 1 cumin and ½ each of nutmeg and cardamom.
Limoo Amani: If you have to substitute fresh lime juice instead of the dried lime, use ¼-1/3 cup of lime juice, adjust to your taste.