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In this stew, meat and yellow split-peas are cooked in a delicious sauce of caramelized onions, spices and tomato paste then topped with fries and served over fragrant basmati rice.

Mastering Persian Cooking

Khoresht Gheymeh for Two (Yellow Split Pea Stew)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour and 45 min
Yields: 2 Servings


1 small onion chopped, about ¾ cup
3 tablespoons oil
½ pound beef (cross rib roast) cut into ½-inch cubes, about 2 cups chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
3 Persian dried limes pierced with fork
2 cups water
¼ cup yellow split-peas, picked over, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
¼ cup oil for frying the potatoes
1 medium potato peeled and cut into matchsticks


In a non-stick medium-sized pan, fry the onions on medium-high heat until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add meat and increase the heat to high. Fry until all the juices are gone, about 5 minutes. Add turmeric, salt, pepper and tomato paste to the pan. Stir and fry until the tomato paste is fried in oil and changes the color of oil, about 5 minutes. This step develops a rich color and a flavorful sauce. Add 2 cups hot water and dried limes. Cover and lower heat to medium low. Cook for 40 minutes (step-by-step photos).

While the meat is cooking, bring split peas and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pan. Lower heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes or until the peas are tender. Drain and set aside.

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

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large frying pan. Fry the potatoes until golden. Serve the stew over a bed of aromatic basmati rice topped with fries.