Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan – Lamb Aubergine Stew with Yellow Split Peas is an iconic Persian stew that you can find in a lot of occasions in Iran, such as weddings, religious mournings, or even when you are invited over for lunch.

What is Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan?

The name Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan – Lamb Aubergine Stew with Yellow Split Peas gives you an idea of the main ingredients of this dish. Khoresht is a general Persian name for stews, while Gheymeh refers to the particular size of the meat used in this stew. Bademjan means eggplant in Persian. Most of the Persian stews are served over Persian steamed rice, so you can eat this saffron-flavored stew along with Persian rice.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan
Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan – Yellow Split Peas Stew served with fried potatoes and eggplants on the side

Ingredients of Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan for 4 people:

This stew is relatively easy to make. All the ingredients for this dish are available in most places. However, you may need to check Middle Eastern grocery stores for some more specific ingredients such as dried lime, or yellow split peas. But you can easily substitute this type of ingredient with other options. There are several ways and recipes to make Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan. Based on people’s tastes, you can add different spices and ingredients to this stew, such as rose water, cinnamon and brewed saffron.

Although this stew is normally made with lamb or mutton’s meat in Iran, you can also make it with beef or chicken. If you want to have the vegetarian/vegan version of this stew, simply skip adding the meat part of the recipe.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-Ingredients
Yellow split peas, meat, dried lime, and eggplants are the main ingredients of this stew.

How to make Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan

First, the onions have to be chopped. Caramelize the onions and you can even add some garlic to the onions in case you like the taste.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-Fried onions and garlics
Chopped onions and garlic fried with oil

After the onions are slightly golden, add the meat. As mentioned, In Iran, this stew is normally made with mutton or lamb meat. You can also choose beef, other types of meat or no meat at all based on your preference.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-meat mixed with fried onions
Meat mixed with slightly golden onions and garlic

Add the tomato paste, and stir your meat with the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and turmeric. This allows the mixture to develop a deeper flavor and color.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-meat mixed with tomato paste
Tomato paste added to the mixture of meat and onions

How to cook yellow split peas for Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan?

Next, you need to add the yellow split peas. Different types of split peas have various cooking times. If you purchase split peas from Middle Eastern grocery stores, you can soak it in water for few minutes, then directly add it to the meat and let it boil, as they usually have a cooking time of approximately 1 or 2 hours. However, if it’s the first time you are using yellow split peas, it’s better to try its cooking time before adding it to the stew.

To test the cooking time of split peas, prepare a small amount of it separately. If your split peas are completely tender in a short time, such as 30 minutes, it means that you need to add them to your stew at the end of its preparation, otherwise they’ll be overcooked.

If it takes them more than 4 hours to cook, it will take a longer time for the stew to be prepared. You can speed up the cooking time by soaking the split peas in water for a few hours before cooking them or cooking them for a short time before adding it to the stew.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-meat mixed with fried onions and split peas
Split peas previously soaked in water, added to the mixture of meat and onions

Mix the split peas with the tomato paste and meat on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-meat mixed with fried onions, split peas and tomato paste
The mixture of meat and split peas on medium heat, with tomato paste and spices

Then, add water to the mixture and increase the heat. After you boil the water, cook the mixture on medium heat for approximately 1 to 2 hours. until the meat is cooked and the split peas are tender.

What is dried lime? How can I prepare it?

Dried lime is used to add a special type of sour flavor to Middle Eastern dishes. It is used either in whole or ground as a spice. In case you can’t find it, add lemon juice instead.

If you have dried limes, soak them in water for 1 hour for it to be tender, and make some holes on it with a fork when adding to the stew. This way, you add the sour flavor inside of the lime to the stew. Check if the meat and split peas are cooked, and then add the dried limes to the stew. You can also substitute the dried limes with lemon juice

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-stew mixed with dried lemons
Dried limes added to the stew after both the split peas and meat are cooked and tender

To enhance the fragrance of this stew, prepare brewed saffron. You can add a little bit of saffron, cinnamon powder and rose water to the stew at the end, to preserve the fragrance of these ingredients.

How to prepare the eggplants?

You normally serve Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan with eggplants on the side. You can also try it with fried zucchini.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-Ingridient-eggplants and zucchinis
Eggplants and zucchinis (optional), which can be served with the Khoresht Gheymeh

There are several ways to prepare the eggplants. Cut off and discard the stem end of the eggplants, and peel them off. You can cut the eggplants into thick slices. Eggplants absorb a lot of oil while frying and one way to reduce the amount of oil you are using is to add a sprinkle of salt to it before frying. Let them soak the salt for 30 minutes so that they absorb less oil while frying.

The other easiest and healthiest option is to put whole or sliced eggplants in the oven and let them bake for about an hour.

After you cook the eggplants, make a sauce with onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and turmeric and let your eggplants roast in it for 30 minutes.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan-Ingridient-friedEggplants
Eggplants first roasted in the oven and then fried with onions, garlic, tomato sauce, and spices to be added next to the stew

How to eat Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan?

You can eat Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan – Lamb Aubergine Stew with Yellow Split Peas as a main dish with Persian rice and tahdig. You can also try this dish with various Persian side dishes such as fresh herb platter, yogurt dip, and salad-Shirazi. Also, you can serve Persian yogurt drink – doogh with this main meal.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan with Persian rice
Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan served with some fried potatoes on top. The stew is eaten with Persian rice and tahdig. This main dish is served with side dishes such as fresh herb platter.

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan - Lamb Aubergine Stew with Yellow Split Peas

Cook Time3 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan
Servings: 4
Author: Zahra Pourmand Tehrani

Ingredients

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjoon

  • 500 g lamb stew cut or any type of meat, or no meat at all
  • 100 g raw yellow split peas
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 potatoes
  • 4-5 dried limes or 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp rose water (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon or 1-inch cinnamon bark
  • brewed saffron
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • salt, pepper
  • vegetable oil

Eggplants or Zucchini for the side of the Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjoon

  • Eggplants Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Onions and garlic

Instructions

Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjoon

  • Fry the onion and garlic until they are slightly golden.
  • Add the sliced meat, with salt, pepper, and turmeric.
  • Add the yellow split peas previously soken in water.
  • Mix tomato paste with the ingredients, and fry the mixture for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add 3 glasses of water, and let it boil. Cook the mixture on medium heat until the meat and yellow split peas are cooked.
  • Add the dried limes previously soken in water. Make holes in it before adding them. Let it cook on medium heat for approximately 1 hour.
  • Based on your taste, add brewed saffron, cinnamon, and rose water to the stew.
  • Serve the stew with Persian rice, fried potatoes, and eggplant on the side.

Photos by Zahra Pourmand Tehrani