Khoresht in Persian cuisine refers to a variety of colorful and tasteful stews, which are typically served with Pollo (steamed basmati rice).

There are some similarities between Persian and Indian cuisine stews; however Iranians generally use less spice.

Although preparing Persian stews is pretty simple, it is time consuming and can take at least a couple of hours.

Traditionally it is done with red meat, whereas my version is vegetarian.  Here is how I prepare it:

Ingredients (For approx 6 servings)

Persian yellow split pea stew


  • Yellow split peas: 1 cup
  • Ripe Plum tomatoes: 3 – chopped
  • Sun dried limes: 2
  • Oil: ¼ cup
  • Onion, thinly sliced: 2
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2  teaspoon
  • Water: 3 cups
  • Salt and pepper:  to taste
  • Lime juice: from 2 fruits
  • Small potato to make fries for garnish


  1. Put the split peas, with a little salt and half the turmeric, in a saucepan and add water to cover by about two inches (or three cups).
  2. Bring the water to boil, cover with a lid and simmer on gentle heat, until the lentils are thoroughly cooked.  Set the saucepan aside, while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  3. In another pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame.  Add the onions and sauté until thoroughly wilted and have begun to caramelize. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 3-5 minutes on medium heat, until it has a sauce like consistency.
  4. Stir in the rest of turmeric,  salt and pepper and continue to cook for a further 2-3 more minutes.  Add the crushed sun dried limes
  5. Pour this preparation into the saucepan with lentils and cover. Take utmost care while pouring, as it may spit!
  6. Simmer for another 20-35 minutes on a very low heat.
  7. Add water as necessary to maintain a stew-like consistency.
  8. Stir in the lime juice, adjust seasoning and rest for at least 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with thin fries and serve with Pollo rice.

Noshe-jaan!  (Enjoy)

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