A perfect Persian stew for the rainy cool autumn days.

This sweet and sour dish is full of taste and warmth from the quince and the spices used.

This stew can easily be transformed into a vegetarian dish.

Enjoy!

Serves 3-4 persons

Ingredients:

  • 2 quince fruits, cored and cubed/sliced
  • 500 g meat (beef or lamb), cut
  • 2 medium onions, chopped/diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas, rinced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • pinch of saffron
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar/honey
  • water

Directions:

Heat oil in a pot and saute the onions on medium heat, until golden brown.
Add the meat and brown on all sides. While meat is browning, add turmeric and mix well while frying.
Add yellow peas and tomato concentrate. Stir gently and fry for a few minutes. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon powder.
Pour water (cover the contents of the pot with water). Bring to boil, lower the heat, add lemon juice and crushed saffron, mix and let cook for at least an hour (or until meat is tender).

In a pan, melt the butter on medium heat and fry the quince on both sides. 4-5 minutes on each side so that the fruit is slightly softened on the inside and golden on the outsides. Sprinkle sugar/pour honey over the fruits and stir until it melts.

Try the stew and adjust the seasoning.
Add the fruits to the stew mixture, cover the pot and simmer on low for 40-60 minutes.

 Accompaniments:

– White rice
– Creamy yogurt

Tips:

– For a vegetarian version of this dish, just omit the meat, add increase the amount of yellow peas and reduce the first cooking time. Just make sure your peas are thoroughly cooked.

– Prepare and slice the quince right before frying, or they will brown and won’t look too attractive.

– The amount of sweetener (sugar/honey or any other sweetener you choose) for the quince depends on how sweet or sour you would like your dish to be. So start by less and add more if necessary (taste the sweetness of the fruits after the sugar melts).

– Instead of the second simmering part of the stew along with the fruits, you can do as I did; I layered the quince slices on the stew and baked it for about 40 minutes in the oven (190 degrees).

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