Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Persian vegetable stew

Sweet and slightly soured vegetable stew with a lovely golden colour from the turmeric and a sharp sweetness topped by dried limes.

50g ghee (clarified butter)
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
20g coriander
10g tarragon
10g dill
1kg waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 4cm chunks
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 4cm chunks
3 dried limes, pierced 2-3 times
1 whole green chilli, slit on one side from stem to tip
5 medium tomatoes, quartered
150g spinach leaves
15g barberries 
1l water

300g Greek yoghurt (optional)

Serves six.


Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 
(if you are preparing ahead, do this 25 minutes before you want to serve the stew)

  • Put a large casserole dish on medium heat and sauté the butter, onion, turmeric and cumin for 10 minutes. 
  • Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes. 
  • Tie all the herbs into a bunch and add to the pot with the potatoes, squash, limes, chilli, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a litre of water. 
  • Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are semi-cooked. 

- You can prepare the stew ahead up to this point -

  • Stir through the tomatoes, spinach and barberries, crushing the limes gently as you do so, to release some of the juices inside.
  • Transfer to a large roasting tray and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little and the vegetables are soft. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave to sit for five minutes before serving

Serve with yoghurt if you like, and rice.

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