There are many varieties of stews/khoresh in Persian cuisine. Authentically, stews are made of lamb (leg or shank), veal or beef (both, round eye) and rarely with chicken meat. People who prefer not to eat red meat use chicken. Personally, I prefer beef. However, if I am to use chicken, I prefer flavorful thigh meat over breast meat.
Stews are made with all kinds of vegetables, fruits and nuts. In the fruit category there are apples, quince, peaches, plums, apricots, oranges, etc. Each stew has a twist in spices used or combination of other vegetables/fruits/nuts used.
Stew/khoresh is almost always served with Persian rice/ polo.
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Khoresh’e Sib • خورش سیب • Apple Stew
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 3 Fuji apples (my choice) – peeled or not peeled, cored and cut into 6 wedges each
• 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 230 g/ 8 oz/ 1 medium onion sliced
• 454 g/ 1 lb chicken, boneless, skinless, fat trimmed thighs or breasts, cut
no smaller than 6cm/2.5” square 
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/16 tsp ground black pepper
• 1/8 tsp turmeric (sometimes called poor man’s saffron) 😉
• 1 tsp tomato paste (not more)
• 2 Tbsp sugar
• 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (quantity of sugar and vinegar can be adjusted to taste)
• 2 Tbsp yellow split-peas (slow cook type to hold it’s shape), boiled for 15 min, drained & rinsed (optional, but adds to the dish)
• 1 bay-leaf
• boiling water
◊ In a medium-size deep pot, heat oil on medium-high and fry apple-wedges on both sides until golden. Place sautéed apples into a large oven-safe deep dish.
◊ In the same pot (if no oil left, add 2 tsp oil), on medium-high, add sliced onion and stirring constantly, sauté onions for 2 minutes. Add chicken meat and sear all sides for 2~3 minutes more until browned. Add salt, pepper and turmeric, stirring, sauté for a few more seconds. Empty the pot into the dish with fried apples.
◊ Place rack on middle oven shelf and preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F.
◊ In ½ cup hot water, dissolve sugar and tomato paste and add to meat mixture. Add cooked yellow split-peas, bay-leaf, another cup of hot water and vinegar. Cover dish with foil tightly and bake for 1 hour. Skim off any oil floating on top and serve with Persian rice/ polo.
 Option: If beef stew meat is preferred, on high heat, stirring constantly, sauté onions for 2 minutes, add meat and continue stirring for 2 more minutes. Add 2 cups boiling water, bay-leaf and turmeric at this point, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 1.5~2 hours (same process for lamb and simmer for 1 hour).
Follow the above recipe steps from where meat is added to the fried apples. Add salt and pepper at the time sugar is added. Since there is already some liquid from the cooked meat, adjust the amount of liquid added before baking.
~ Noushe jan • نوش جان ~
A few important points in making an outstanding Persian khoresh:
♦ Don’t skimp on oil… use as much as needed for frying/sautéing. Boiling oil also cooks and adds flavor. It can be skimmed off before serving.
♦ Brown/sear onion and meat very well.
♦ Adding 1/16 ~ 1/8 tsp of ground saffron, dissolved in 1 Tbsp hot water, will substantially add to taste.
♦ Don’t use too much water for cooking, just enough to steam and condense. –Simmer on low heat for a long time. This helps flavor fusion of ingredients.
♦ Best if stew is made a day in advance and refrigerated for taste to meld.
♦ Almost all stews can be frozen. Exception: If stew includes potato(es), potato pieces to be removed before freezing.
♦ There are red  stews (using tomato paste) and green  stews (using herbs). Garnishing red stews sparingly with caramelized onion before serving not only further enhances taste but visually enhances the dish.
 Slang: ‘red’ and ‘green’ are used to specify types of stews or mixed rices, using tomato paste vs. herbs respectively. This concept also helps host/hostess plan an event menu and serve a balance of reds and greens.
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?
 If this product is not available at your local Persian/Mediterranean grocery stores (much cheaper), here is an option and check for the best prices available at amazon.com (if delivery service available to your locality).