Iran, Iraq – Khoresh-e-Qeyme

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by Adelina Aida

The most important dish is loved by every person who likes Persian and Iranian dishes. This dish is a lovable dish of Iraq that is also included in the national cuisines of few regions like Iran, Persia, UAE, etc. This is basically a stew of mutton in which vegetables like tomatoes, onions, peas, lime, and eggplant are added and serving is very important. Thin crispy strips of fried potatoes are served over this stew. The consistency of stew is not too thin but it can be not thick as well. The moderate consistency of the stew is made by adding all the delicious ingredients. This is the typical Iranian food that is served with different Iranian loaves of bread. There are many different kinds of flatbreads or Pastry bread cooked in Iran that go well with the dishes in which stew is cooked. This stew is more like thick curry but it is not as thick so you can be categorized it in that curry category. Famous Persian and Iranian spices are added to this stew. There are also many types of pickles served with Iranian dishes. Pickles are mostly of Chilies and Lemon. But in this dish, French fries are a must. Thin crispy potato strips are served either over the stew or served aside.

This dish is actually a combination of two individual dishes. Khoresh is known as any Persian stew made up of any vegetables like eggplant, yellow split peas, Okra, etc. The main ingredient of this dish is the meat most probably mutton, and different vegetables are also be added. Moreover, lentils like gram peas, chickpeas, split pulses are also be added. There are very famous meat and vegetable combination that is best to eat together.

Alternative names of this dish

  • Gheimah
  • Qemeih
  • Khoresh
  • Koresht
  • Khoresh Vij Vij

This dish is very popular throughout the ASIA, especially in the Middle East

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Persia
  • Syria
  • UAE
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Palastine
  • Egypt
  • Israel

HISTORY OF IRANIAN CUISINE

There are many concepts about the Iranian and Persian cuisine. Basically, Iran was supposed to be called as Persia in the west. There are many termonologies in which Iran is known by the name Persia. The Persian are ethnic group of Iran in the region. The ethnic persian makes up almost half of the Iranians.

The Iranian’s Culinary tradition is the combination of many different cuisine because they have great impact of their tradition to them. Like Levantine cuisine, Greek Cuisine, Mesopotamian cuisine, Russian cuisine, etc. In the central Aisa, when Mughals were ruling over the Indian subcontinent, there are many dishes that came from their influences. The main ingredient of most of the Iranian dishes are meat or vegetables but the main difference came up by adding different spices and the cooking method, cooking pots.

Now there are many dishes that are found in the world inspired by Iranian cuisine. It is combination of different traditions and different cultures. Neighbouring regions of Iran is so impactful for them so they adapted the life style, cooking methods, dishes and culture of them.

It is part of many different cuisines of the world like

  • Lebanese cuisine
  • Russian cuisine
  • Greek cuisine
  • Omani cuisine
  • Iranian cuisine
  • Mesopotamian cuisine
  • Khaleeji cuisine
  • Persian Cuisine, etc.

GHEIMEH

Gheimeh or Keimeh is the Persian Stew or also known as Iranian Stew. Stew is referred to be as the dish of soup with solid ingredients. The combination of liquid soup with solid ingredients like meat and vegetables are supposed to be as stew. It is usually cooked by using slow cooking procedure. Stock of main ingredients is made and then other ingredients are added. Main ingredient stock is cooked, then seasonings are added with vegetables and other easy cooked meat to proceed the cooking steps.

Stew is cooked by simmering and boiling the stock. Stewing is the procedure of making meat tendered and juicy unlike vegetables, it must be crunchy and crispy. Persian and Iranian stew is made by adding mutton meat and some specific vegetables.

The Persian word gheimeh refers to the meaning ‘‘minced meat”

KHORESH

Khoresh or Khorest is the Iranian stew dish. The word is a word khordan that means “to eat” and literally it means “meal”.

In cuisines like Iranian, Persian, Tajik cuisine, there are many different khoresh made with many different ingredients, etc. khoreshes of Iranian cuisine are very aromatic and fragrantic because of addition of ingredients like Saffron, star anise, etc.

There are different meat based stew that is white in color because of addition of barely meat without any vegetables and seasoning. Other type of stew in which meat and vegetables are added together with some spices addition. Thin and thick consistency of the stew is also variant from each stew type.

HISTORY OF THE DISH

Stews are very traditional dish cooked on the ancient time. The first time stew was cooked in Japan and it was said the JOMON PERIOD.

Herodotus was the greek writer and philosopher, said that :

”Sythian put the flesh into an animal’s paunch, mix water with it, and boil it like that over the bone fire. The bones burn very well, and the paunch easily contains all the meat once it has been stripped off. In this way an ox, or any other sacrificial beast, is ingeniously made to boil itself.”

Demons were very familiar with the artof cooking stews and soups and when Persian was inspired by them they used to have it in their daily food. Sassanid period are found important in the history of cooking and cuisine of Iran.

There is a traditional plate setting of serving Gheimeh-e-Khoresh in which rice, with fruits and meat pieces are added together. And this is served with saffron and pomegranate seeds.

There are some old traditional ingredients of Persian cum Iranian Cuisine :

  • Adiveh
  • Fava beans
  • Quinces
  • Golpar
  • Halloumi
  • Baharat
  • Shevid
  • Delal sauce
  • Tahini, etc.

ELEMENTS OF THE DISH

MUTTON

Lamb meay, hoggetmutton, and sheep meat refers to the meat from sheep. This is very delicious meat and must added in making this dish. When it comes to the traditional cooking of Gheimeh and Khores, mutton is usually added. But now different meat also can be added like Beef, Chicken, Fish, etc.

Lamb is supposed to be most expensive and most delicious meat. There are thousands of dishes cooked from this meat that is also good for maintaining the healthy body requirement. There are different cuts of lamb that is used in making different dishes. Every cut has its own properties and also different taste.

Organ meats / Offal are also consumed in different countries. 100 grams of mutton having 294 calories in total.

VEGETABLES

There are some specific vegetables used in making gheimeh khoresh like the following :

  • Tomatoes
  • Dry lime
  • Onions
  • Split peas
  • Eggplant

SAFFRON FLAVORED FRIED POTATOES

Saffron flavor is very commonly used in making dishes from Iranian Cuisine. This is the best part of this dish. The meaty stew with addition of crunch as the Potato fried strips. Saffron is flavored by adding it to the fried thin potatoes. Sometimes, thin strips are added and sometimes potatoes are added as the french fried in thick diameter. But they must have saffron flavors.

SEASONINGS

There are some spices that are commonly used in Iranian dishes like :

  • Dill weed
  • Spearmint
  • Parsley, cilantro
  • Basil
  • Fenugreek
  • Tarragon
  • Marjorum
  • Turmeric powder
  • Saffron

SERVED WITH

  • Rice
  • Lavash
  • Sangak
  • Taftun
  • Qandi bread
  • Komaj
  • Polow
  • Tachin

TYPES OF GHEIMEH IN IRANIAN CUISINE

  • Gheimeh sibzamini : Stew with thin french fries
  • Gheimeh nesar : Mutton stew with almonds and fried onions.
  • Gheimeh rashti : Mutton stew with pomegranate paste, tomatoes, and verjuice.
  • Gheimeh kadou : Stew with fried whole squash
  • Gheimeh beh : Stew with Quinces

TYPES OF KHORESH IN IRANIAN CUISINE

  • Khoresh bādemjān lapeh : Aubergine and yellow split pea stew
  • Khoresh qārch : Shiitake mushroom stew
  • Khoresh karafs : celery beef stew
  • Khoresh Vij Vij : Meat and vegetable stew
  • Khoresh fesenjun : pomegranate stew
  • Khoresh bāmieh lapeh : okra and yellow split pea stew
  • Khoresh Kadu :  beef or chicken stew with zuchinni

INGREDIENTS

  1. Lamb pieces = 500 grams
  2. Onions = 1 chopped
  3. Tomatoes = 1 chopped
  4. garlic cloves = 6 chopped
  5. Parsely chopped = few leaves
  6. Omani dried Persian limes = 4
  7. Chives = 2 tbsp
  8. Bunch scallions = 2

SEASONINGS

  1. Salt = 1 tsp
  2. Red pepper = 1tbsp
  3. Saffron = 1 tsp
  4. Bahārāt = 1 tsp
  5. Tarragon = 2 tbsp
  6. Marjoram = 1 tsp
  7. Caraway = 1 tsp
  8. Dried fenugreek leaves = 4 tbsp

SERVING

  1. Parsely leaves = few
  2. Green chilies = 2
  3. Pomegranate seeds = 4 tbsp
  4. Saffron flavored fried potatoes strips

COOKING METHOD

  • Wash the meat properly and dry it well, in a cooking pot add some oil with chopped onions, chopped garlic and mutton pieces for make them sauteed until the color turned translucent.
  • When aroma started to appear, add 6 glass of water in the mixture of mutton with spices like caraway, marjoram, baharat, fenugreek leaves, etc.
  • Let this thing to cook for 30 minutes if you are using simple cooking pot.
  • It pressure cooker or hotpot is used, it will take less time to tender completely.
  • Now when mutton is cooked and half of the water is evaporated, add scallions, tomatoes, lime and other desired vegetables.
  • Let the vegetable cook for 10 minutes to maintian the crunchiness but the rawness removed.
  • Now add parsely, green chilies and its ready to serve.
  • In a bowl add this stew at its full and then top up with saffron fried potatoes strips.
  • Enjoy it with rice and taftun.
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