Skip to main content

Featured Post

My cookbook: "Tehran to New York"

On the Norouz day of 2020 spring, I finally published my book. The manuscript is titled: "Tehran to New York: A culinary bridge between Persian and Western cultures" and aims at presenting a unique blend of classic and contemporary Persian recipes, as well as samples of Western-style cuisine, offered in a Persian context. It is important to build bridges between cultures, and not walls. This book aims at constructing a bridge between the Persian and Western cultures. The book may be ordered here:  

Khoresh-e Khalal; Persian lamb and slivered almond stew

This old school Persian stew is thought to be the ancestor of the modern day fried potato and split pea stew (i.e. Gheimeh). The traditional almond stew, an extravagant and ceremonial dish form the West of Iran, contains expensive ingredients such as lamb, almond, barberries, and saffron. The modern day Gheimeh is mostly cooked with beef; almond slivers are replaced with fried potatoes (the gift from the New World); tomato paste (yet another gift from the New World) is used in lieu of saffron to color the dish; and barberries are completely neglected. The almond stew is now a regional dish, only cooked in the city of Kermanshah and her vicinity. Presented here is an authentic recipe for this exotic old school stew. 

1.1 Pounds (~500 gr) boneless lamb shoulder, finely cubed
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
4 dried Persian limes
3.52 Oz (~100 gr or 1 cup) almond slivers
1/2 TSP turmeric
1/2 TSP coriander powder
1/4 cup black barberries (or regular red barberries, in the very likely case which you can't find the black ones)
1/8 TSP cardamon powder
Pinch of saffron
1 TBSP rosewater (optional)

Lightly caramelize the onion along with the cinnamon stick. Deeply caramelized onion is not used in Gheymeh and this stew for aesthetic reasons; the dish must look bright. To a pot add the lamb, caramelized onions (including the cinnamon stick), and dried limes. In the same pan toast the almond until fragrant. In the last minute add the turmeric and coriander powder and toast.
Add the toasted almonds to the pot. Deglaze the pan with 2 cups of water and add the resulting water to the stewing pot.
Cook, covered, on low heat for an hour or until the meat is tender and almond oil appears on top. Sprinkle the cardamom and saffron on the barberries and sautée for thirty seconds. Add the barberry mixture and rosewater to the stew before serving.
Serve with Persian style rice.