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Khoresht gheymeh is a delicious Persian stew made of diced meat, yellow split peas, saffron, tomato paste and sun dried lime. The stew is garnished with fries and served on a bed of fragrant basmati rice. The sun dried lime, called limoo amani in Farsi, gives this dish its distinct citrusy and earthy flavor that is so authentic of Persian food.

If you layer this khoresht gheymeh with rice, without the fries of course, you will end up with a rice dish called gheymeh polo. Simply mixing the two while you’re eating it may seem like the same thing :), but when the half-cooked rice finishes cooking with the stew, it absorbs all the yummy flavors. To make gheymeh polo, cook the stew as directed below using less water. Once it’s cooked, use my polo recipe. After straining the rice, layer it with the stew and finish simmering it. Make sure the stew doesn’t have more than 1/2 cup of liquid, otherwise your rice will turn out mushy.

Mastering Persian Cooking

Khoresht Gheymeh (Yellow Split Peas Stew)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
Ready in: 2 hour
Yields: 6 Servings


6 tablespoons oil
1 large onion diced
1.5 pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 pinch saffron
½ cup fresh lime juice or 2 tablespoons dried Persian lemon powder
3 cups water
¾ cup yellow split-peas, picked over, rinsed and drained
2 cups water for split-peas
½ cup oil for frying the potatoes
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into matchsticks


Heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a nonstick medium size pan over medium high heat. Add onions, fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add meat, increase heat to high. Fry until all juices evaporate, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste, salt, pepper and turmeric. Mix ingredients. Fry for 5 minutes or until tomato paste changes the color of oil. Add 3 cups of water, cover and bring to boil. Lower heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour.

While the meat is cooking, cook the split peas and 2 cups of water in a medium size saucepan for 15 to 20 minutes or until the split peas are tender. Drain and set aside.

When meat is fork tender add the split peas, lime juice and saffron. Cook for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Heat oil in a large frying pan, fry the potatoes until golden brown. Place the khoresht in a serving bowl, top with fries just before serving. Serve over rice.