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Khoresht-e Ghormeh Sabzi (Stewed lamb with black-eyed peas)

Serves 6

3 pounds shoulder of lamb, or chuck roast, or shoulder of veal

1/3 cup dried black-eyed peas, or 1 package frozen black-eyed peas

4 tablespoons butter

2 large onions, sliced

1 can consommé or beef bouillon

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 to 4 whole Persian dried limes (or 4 tablespoons lemon juice)

2 bunches parsley, finely chopped

8-10 springs leaf fenugreek, chopped, or 3 tablespoons dried leaf fenugreek

1 cup scallions, chopped (include half of the green stem)

1 cup leeks, chopped (include half of the green stem)

Have your butcher bone the meat. Trim off the excess fat, and cut the meat into stewing-size pieces. If using dried black-eyed peas, cover with salted water and cook until tender. Drain and set aside. Sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of the butter until golden brown. Add the meat and sauté until brown. Add the consommé, water, salt, pepper, and Persian limes (or lemon juice). Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Sauté the parsley, fenugreek, scallions, and leeks briefly in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and add them to the meat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes longer. If using frozen black-eyed peas, cook according to the directions on the package. Just before serving, add the black-eyed peas to the stew. Serve with rice and yogurt.

Red kidney beans may be substituted for the black-eyed peas.

(From "Persian cooking" by N. Ramazani, 1974)

Recipe # 2

For those who are health conscious or have medical problems, you can try the following recipe written by a registered dietitian which is lower in fat and sodium. The book also includes nutrition information per serving and diabetic exchange per serving.

Makes 4 servings of 1/2 cup

Prep time: 20 min.

Cooking time: 1 hr 45 min.

1 pound stewing beef from (eye or tip of round)

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

3 cups water

1/3 cup red kidney beans

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1/4 cup fresh fenugreek, or 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek

2 cups chopped fresh parsley

1 cup chopped fresh chives or scallions, or 1/2 cup dried chives

3 tablespoons dried lime powder or 1/3 cup fresh lime juice or 4 whole dried limes, crushed

1. Trim all the excess fat around the meat and cut meat into 2-inch cubes.

2. In a nonstick pot, add stewing meat and onion. Pan broil them on medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Turn the meat and brown the other side until onion loses its white color.

3. Add water and kidney beans to the pot and season with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile wash the fresh herbs and finely chop. Pat dry the excess water and spread in another nonstick pan. Stir fry for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking. You just need to wilt the herbs, not really fry them the way traditional stew is prepared.

5. If you use dried fenugreek, add it first to the meat mixture and let it give its aroma. After 5 minutes add the rest of the herbs of step 4 to the pot. Add dried lime powder or dried limes to the pot. Mix the stew well and let simmer for another 1 hour and 15 minutes, covered.

(From "Your Key to Healthy Persian Cooking" by M. Sajedi, R.D.)