I love yellow split peas. They have a particular flavour and texture that goes well with lamb and turmeric. This stew is one of my favourites. It can be made with cubed lamb shoulder, or with chops from the best end of neck.
- 4 dried limes
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 500g lamb neck chops or 400g cubed lamb
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 whole green cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a good grinding of black pepper
- 500ml boiling water
- 250g yellow split peas
- a small pinch of saffrom
- 1/2 tsp rose water
- Put the limes in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and add a weight to keep them under water. I usually do this in a small jug, and use a ramekin to weigh them down. Do this before starting anything else; a two hour soak will reduce any bitterness.
- Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and fry the chopped onions over a low to medium heat until they are golden.
- Add the turmeric and cook for another couple of minutes, and then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the lamb to the pan, perhaps with a little extra oil, and brown all over.
- Add back the onions, along with the tomato paste, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and pepper. Stir to mix and add half a litre of boiling water.
- Bring back to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse the yellow split peas, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cook until al dente, and then drain and rinse.
- Drain the limes, nick each one to release their flavour into the stew. Add them to the stew and simmer until the lamb is tender and soft, at least 30 minutes and possibly more depending on the quality of the meat.
- Add saffron, rose water, and the drained split peas, and stir them in. Cover and continue to simmer over a very lowheat for a further 15 minutes. The peas should be completely cooked.
Serve with rice or with fried potatoes.