24 August 2009


I like to make foods from different parts of the world so the children are exposed to a little more diversity than they would be otherwise. This dish is from Iran. I believe Iranian cuisine offers some of the tastiest dishes in the world. There are many different khoresht dishes. They are basically a thick sauce served over rice.

You will need:

1 1/2 lbs stewing beef
1 cup dried split peas or lentils (the yellow kind works well)
3-4 onions
1 lb potatoes
cooking oil
small can tomato paste
2T lime or lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon (minimum) spices (paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin---whatever you like in whatever combination you like)

Soak peas or lentils for about 3 hours, then drain.

Peel and slice onions. Fry in oil. Cut meat into small pieces and fry until color changes. Add 3-4 cups of water and bring to boil. Let simmer slowly for an hour or so until meat is tender. Add more water if necessary.

Peel potatoes, cut up into small pieces. Add potatoes, split peas, salt, pepper, spices and tomato paste. Simmer until done. Add lime juice near the end. During cooking, add more water if needed. The end result should not be dry, nor too watery---it should be a thick, rich sauce full of meat and vegetables. This is served over white rice. I have found that Basmati rice works the best.

If you are a vegetarian, you could adapt the recipe by omitting the meat and either increasing the potatoes, or better yet, replacing the meat with eggplant or with portobello mushrooms. If using eggplant: fry them slowly with the onions, adjust the water (it should cover the vegetables but not look too soupy), and simmer only until tender. Then, proceed as in the original recipe. If using mushrooms: I would probably just saute them lightly and add them with the potatoes and such.

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