Monday, 21 November 2011

Khoresht-e Qeymeh " Lamb Stew with Yellow split peas"

Today's dinner.This is a perfect winters day meal.

Takes a while and needs some preparation.You can use a pressure cooker for the meat this does lesson the cooking time. I always slow cook the lamb, I find it is more tender. I would recommend that you use Iranian Yellow split peas, I find the supermarkets yellow split peas always turn mushy however you cook them.I will be cooking chelo rice today.

  • Yellow split peas 80gram-100grm lapeh place in a bowl of water to soak overnight
  • Tomatoes  3-4 tomatoes or you can use tomato purée
  • Oil 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil 
  • Butter Several tablespoons 
  • Onion 1 large onion finely chopped or use several shallots
  • Turmeric teaspoon
  • Lamb 500 gram cut into small cubes boned leg is good
  • Saffron 1/2 teaspoon ,ground
  • Bay Leave                                  1
  • Dried Lime 2 the Iranian name is limu omani
  • Potatoes 2-3 medium size cut into very thin chips
  • Rice  350grams Basmati is the best.
  • Pitta Bread/Thin flat bread  Enough to cover the bottom of your rice pan. 
  • Salt & Pepper
Begin with your rice. Wash through until the water runs clear then place in a bowl and cover the rice with water add one tablespoon of salt and leave for a minimum  of 30 minutes , you can leave your rice like this over night the rice will be more delicious.
Rinse your yellow split peas. I always cook my peas separately, I find I can control them better, Put the peas on,bring to the boil, then turn the heat down low and let simmer until just cooked.Remember to take a off any scum that floats to the top.
Grate your tomatoes and set aside.
Put a medium size pan on the heat and add the oil ,add the onion and fry on a meduim heat until golden.Sprinkle over the turmeric and stir only once.Add the cubed lamb and fry for about 10 minutes you want the lamb to be light brown all over.Add a pinch of salt and sprinkle black pepper and the saffron, over the meat, add the bay leaf and continue to fry for around 2 minutes, stirring all the time so it doesn't stick to the bottom. If you are using tomatoe purée instead of the tomatoes add it now and add the 300 mls water. Add the grated tomatoes stir and cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have thickened, if your tomatoes are not very rich add a tablespoon of tomatoes purée.Pour over 300 mls of water and bring back to the boil.Prick your dried lemon in several places and add to the pot. Reduce the heat to low cover and simmer for 1 hour, you must check the water levels and stir now and again.The sauce should be quite thick. Try to keep the lid on the pan this helps with the flavour of the dish.After 1 hour add the pre-cooked  yellow split-peas and if needed add boiling water and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the meat and peas are cooked.When cooked season to your taste.

While the meat is simmering you can make your chelo rice. Put a large non-stick pan of water on to boil, it must be large enough for the rice to have room to boil. Salt the water about 1 large tablespoon.Drain your rice that has been soaking, if you have soaked it overnight rinse through with clean water. 
When the water is boiling add the rice, and leave it on a high heat until the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to a rolling boil, take off any scum that has formed on the top of the pan.With a large saptula pick out some rice and squash it between your fingers.If you feel any hardness in the rice it still needs cooking.Do not cook the rice too long it should take around 5-10 minutes depending on how much rice you have.You need to drain the rice into a large colander.Wash the pot out getting rid of the starch around the pot. Put the pot back onto the heat add around three tablespoon of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of butter.If you have any saffron left you can sprinkle a little onto the oil, but do not let it burn.

                   Place the flat bread onto the bottom of the pan covering it completely. See picture, I've used a flat pitta torn apart you dont want a very thick bread.

 Then put your rice on top like a mountain shape, then using a tea towel cover your lid and place on top of the pan, from this point on do not lift the lid until you are ready to serve.Place a de- fusser  under the pot turn the gas to the lowest point and leave for a minimum of 45 minutes.When you are ready to serve in a small pot heat up around 80grams of butter when melted add a splash of boiling water take of the lid and with a ladle with holes swill around the rice. Now plate up your rice onto a large serving platter. The pitta bread you have placed on the bottom will be crispy and delicious place this onto a separate plate. This is called Tahdig and disappears very quickly in our house!
Now make your thin crispy chips. I've use new potatoes peel them then cut them thinly into chip put into a bowl of cold water for several minutes then drain and let them dry completely. Heat your oil or use a deep fat fryer and set the heat 160degress when hot add the chips and fry for only 5 minutes take out and let them go cold,putting them in the fridge helps.When your ready to serve up put your deep fat fryer to 180degress and fry until cooked and crspy. Put your khoresht into a serving dish and place the chips over the top.

Khoresht-e Qeymeh

For pudding I made some ginger cup cakes with white chocolate frosting

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