At the time, as a child, I loved this dish because it is served with crispy fresh potato fries. Which child wouldn’t like that?” says Afsoun.
“Once I grew older and more mature, I liked this dish even more because it was one of the foods people all over Iran were cooking to give to disadvantaged people who couldn’t afford a meal.”
Khoresht Gheymeh is served every year during the Islamic holy months of Ramadan and Muharram according to the Muslim lunar Hijri calendar.
Persians serve this dish as “Nazri” (meaning free food to disadvantaged people) every single day during these months.
“I believe food is an essential part of human lives and that it can connect us with the combination of colourful ingredients, to make something colourful and tasty. Food brings us joy, love and laughter and at the end it makes our lives so much more colourful through their existence. Through sharing food, we can share joy and happiness with our family and friends. As food is something we all have in common, we also can interact and socialise.
“I believe any food comes with some stories. My story with my food is to give and nurture. Because I can’t offer much to anyone, and food is something I can afford, then I am happy to share it with everyone — friends, family, and strangers.”
1 1/3 cups yellow split peas
2 medium-sized onions
3 cups water
2 medium-sized potatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp black pepper
3 tsp dried lime powder
or ½ cup lime juice
A small pinch of saffron optional
- Roughly dice one medium onion, add one tablespoon of oil to your pot and add the onions.
- Cut your meat into one-inch cubes and add them to your pot as well. Add the seasonings with three tablespoons of tomato paste.
- Wash the split peas and add them to the pot. Pour three cups of water into your pot and let all your ingredients cook together for one hour.
- Meanwhile, take a frying pan, chop your second onion and caramelise it in two tablespoons of frying oil on medium heat.
- Chop the potatoes and fry them as well. Make your fries extra crispy and delightful.
- Check on your stew and see how much water is left. If the water to split peas and meat ratio is high, turn the heat up and let the water cook out until your stew is a little thick. If the ratio is low, check and see if your meat is well done. You may have to add a cup of water if your stew is super thick.
- If all is well, you can serve your dish and enjoy your meal.