Gheimeh literally translated ‘finely chopped’ is a Persian stew/khoresh consisting of meat, yellow split peas, tomatoes/tomato paste, caramelized onion and dried lime/limu omani. This stew is garnished with aubergine and/or French fries, and almost always served with Persian rice/polo.
Gheimeh is one of the easiest of khoreshs/stews to make, and therefore, served often for family dinners and also a common red stew at special dinner gatherings.
Khoresh'e Gheimeh • خورش قیمه • Persian Style Yellow Split Pea Stew
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
For the meat
• vegetable oil
• 120 g/ 1 small onion, diced large
• 570 g/ 1¼ lb beef stew meat cut in 2.5 cm/1″ cubes
. . – lamb, veal or poultry may be used
• 1 bay-leaf
• 2 cups hot water
Seasoning for stewing:
• 2 ~ 3 whole dried limes (limu omani لیمو امانی خشک) -or- ¼ cup verjuice or lemon/lime juice
• 150 g/ ¾ cup yellow split-peas, slow cook type to hold it’s shape
• 230 g/ 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 ~ 1½ Tbsp tomato paste
• ¾ tsp hot pepper paste
• ½ ~ 1 tsp ground turmeric
• 2 cups hot water
• 1 tsp chicken base (I use this brand, low sodium)
• 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp salt, divided
• 1/16 tsp ground black pepper
• 1/32 ~ 1/16 tsp ground saffron, dissolved in 1 Tbsp hot water
For the French fries
• 1 lb potato (I used russet), new/fresh, cut in 12mm/½” cubes, soaked in water for 30 minutes, drained and set to drain further.
• vegetable oil
◊ Poke the dried limes/limu omani with tines of fork in three places and soak in hot water for at least 2 hours. It is preferred that its water be refreshed a couple of times. Drain before use.
◊ To cook the meat: In a medium sauce pan, add oil and on high heat, as soon as oil is hot, add cut onions and stirring constantly, sauté for 2 minutes. Add meat and sear all around. Add water, bay-leaf, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, scoop any floating foam, and let simmer for 1½ hours, until meat is done, but not over-cooked. There should be ½ cup or more of liquid left.
◊ While meat is cooking: In a medium-sized sauce pan, add rinsed yellow split-peas and 2 cup water, bring to a boil on high-heat. As soon as it starts to foam (as it will overflow) drain, refresh its water, add ½ tsp salt and bring to a boil again. Lower heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
◊ In a non stick, medium sized pot, add 2 Tbsp oil and heat over medium-high. Add cut onion. Frequently stirring, fry until caramelized. Add tomato paste, hot pepper paste, turmeric, and fry for additional one minute. Add hot water, chicken base, cinnamon, ½ tsp salt (adjust to sodium level in the chicken base), pepper, dissolved saffron, and stir. Add the cooked meat, with liquid, par boiled yellow split peas. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until split peas are tender (do not over cook as they start falling apart and over thicken the sauce).
◊ While stew is simmering: In a medium sized fry-pan, add 12mm/½” deep of oil and heat on medium-high until oil ripples. Carefully add well drained potato cubes and fry until golden. Scoop out onto a plate lined with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and set aside and keep warm.
◊ Dish out the stew in a deep dish and garnish with the cubed French fries. It is very common to serve gheimeh with fried eggplants (which are simmered in the stew). Gheimeh is always served with Persian rice/polo. Yogurt or torshi goes very well as accompaniment.
~ Noushe jan • نوش جان ~
It is very common to serve gheimeh with eggplants… it is called gheimeh bademjan
Most common way of serving is crispy, freshly French fried potatoes on the side.
Persian khoresh is always served with Persian style saffron rice, polo!
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.
 If these products are not available at your local Persian/Mediterranean grocery stores (cheaper), here is an option and check for the best prices available at amazon.com (if delivery service available to your locality).