Persian stews steal the show when it comes to hearty, delicious meals. Khoresh Gheymeh is a robust and flavorful meat and split pea soup, instantly recognizable by the yellow split peas dotted throughout.
It has the fragrant Persian spice mix advieh to give it layers of complex flavor, but I'm giving you a shortcut if you don't have it on hand or feel like making it. You'll want to serve this stew with roasted potatoes for the best meal you'll eat this week!
Why this Recipe Works
An amazing stew has a depth and richness of flavor, plus a great mix of textures in the dish. Khoresh Gheymeh has it all – tender, flavorful meat plus a savory tomato-based broth and a slight sweetness from the split peas.
I usually use boneless lamb roast as my meat of choice, but it works with beef too. My trick for really tender lamb or meat is only to gently brown the sides in the initial steps and then it cooks fully as the stew cooks. Cooking it more than that will make it tough and dry.
The dried limes are a crucial part of the dish. They are citrusy but add a unique slightly sour flavor to the stew.
Ingredients & Substitutions
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Oil – I tend to use canola oil, but any flavorless oil will do.
Onions – Yellow onions are preferred for this recipe, but white onions can work.
Lamb – boneless lamb roast is my go-to, but you can also use beef like shoulder or chuck roast.
Yellow split peas – These dried and split peas come in yellow and green varieties, and you definitely want the yellow! Make sure they are rinsed and picked through for tiny rocks before adding to your stew.
Turmeric – This orange-yellow spice comes from a plant in the ginger family. You'll want fresh, powdered turmeric for the stew.
Dried Limes – These are small limes boiled in a salt brine and left to dry until they harden. They add a unique sourness to your stew to balance the flavors. You can buy dried limes on Amazon or at your local Middle-Eastern market.
Tomato paste – You will need a whole can of this, rather than just a small tube tomato paste sometimes comes in.
Salt & Pepper – Keep these handy so you can season to your liking.
Advieh – you can make your own, find it online, and/or don't have time to make it, you can substitute every 1 teaspoon of advieh with this mix: ⅓ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of cardamom.
How to Make this Recipe
The first step is to partially cook the yellow split peas by bringing a pot of hot water to a gentle boil. You should par-boil them for about half an hour, then drain and set aside.
Next, sautee the yellow onions in the oil over medium-high heat, until they are translucent.
Add in the boneless lamb roast cut into 1-½-inch chunks, season with the advieh, turmeric, salt, and pepper, and then sauté the meat until it's brown on all sides.
Note: Do not overcook the meat at this stage or it will be dry and tough. Just barely brown the meat on all sides without cooking it all the way through.
Add the garlic and stir while you cook another 30 seconds until fragrant.
Now you're ready to add in the tomato paste, 4 cups of water, parboiled split peas, and dried limes. Bring the stew to a boil.
Then, lower the stew to a simmer on the lowest possible simmer setting and simmer it for 1 hour.
Then your stew is ready! I like to serve over perfectly roasted potatoes. You can also cook potatoes in the stew, and serve on steamed basmati rice if you prefer. Simply peel yukon gold potatoes and add them to the stew at the same time as the water is added.
Khoresh Gheymeh FAQs
I find this stew freezes well – You can freeze it in a freezer bag, or portion it our using a silicone tray. These are the trays I like to use to freeze soups, stews, stocks, and more.
These are limes that have been completely dehydrated by being boiled in a salt brine and left to dry until they are small and hard – about the size of a golf ball. They are often added to soups and stews in order to impart a sour flavor. They are amazing flavor enhancers and have a phenomenal aroma.
The flavor of yellow split peas is mild, nutty and slightly sweet, though some people's tastebuds register green peas as sweeter.
No advieh? Not to worry! You can easily can substitute every 1 teaspoon of advieh with this mix: ⅓ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of cardamom.
Hungry for more Persian recipes and stews? I have some sure-to-please dishes ready for you!
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- 1 lb. boneless lamb roast or beef chuck or shoulder
- 3 tablespoon flavorless oil like canola or avocado seed
- 1 yellow onion diced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric dry, ground
- 2 teaspoon advieh
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup yellow split peas picked through for rocks
- 6 oz. tomato paste 1 small can
- 2 dried limes
- salt & pepper to taste
- Partially cook yellow split peas in hot water at a gentle boil. You should par-boil them for about half an hour, then drain and set aside.
- Next, sautee the yellow onions in the oil over medium-high heat, until they are translucent.
- Add in boneless lamb roast or beef, advieh, turmeric, salt, and pepper and sauté meat until it's brown on all sides.
- Add the garlic and stir while you cook another 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add in the tomato paste, 4 cups of water, split peas, and dried limes.
- Bring the stew to a boil.
- Serve stew warm over potatoes or rice