I have no idea what this Persian dish is called. Either does my father.
My father would make this for Sunday dinners, three or four times a year, and typically in the summer. Pop always had a huge vegetable garden… plenty of tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant, green onion… and yellow squash.
The way Pops made this dishwas in the oven, in a roasting pan. Pops told me that he would make his meatballs, make the sauce, then brown the squash, and finally pop the whole thing in the oven with a little brown sugar on top.
I love it and was craving it today.
Granted you need to be a more advanced “cooker”… it does get a little involved, but the flavor! The flavor of this Khoresht (stew) is so layered and fresh, despite the color and appearance. It does come off as a and autumn or winter dish, but it’s the mint, saffron, exotic spice blends and summer squash that makes it perfect spring through summer. The split yellow peas gives it body and a great texture. Check it out... try it out… and let me know what you think!
2 pounds ground lamb
2 medium yellow onion 1 grated for the meatball, one diced for the stew
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 tablespoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper (or 1 tablespoon Cook’s Line Seasoning)
1 teaspoon saffron crushed and steeped in 1/4 cup hot water
1 large egg
2 cups split yellow peas
1/3 cup dark agave nectar
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 -4 small summer/yellow squash split in half length way
- In a mixing bowl add your ground lamb. With a box grater, grate one medium yellow onion and add it to the bowl. Add the dried mint, advieh goosht or Persian Rub, Salt and Pepper or Cook’s Line, egg, and a good tablespoon of the saffron and saffron water. With both of your clean little hands mix the meat moisture until everything is fully combined and the meat is “Sticky”. Ball up with a 2-ounce scoop, or by hand, the size of a small lime… or desired size, and brown gently in a skillet. You don't want to cook them through, just brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- On the same pan you browned the meatballs in and with the same pan fat and juices, lay your halved squash face down and brown. About 5 minutes. Remove and pull out a heavy bottom high sided stove top pan or dutch oven.
- Heat a little grapeseed oil the pan and begin to slowly cook the diced onion. Cook gently until golden brown. Add the tomato paste and fry with the onion. Season the onion and tomato mixture with a pinch or two of the Advieh and Cook’s Line Seasoning. Add the agave nectar for depth and sweetness, then the salt yellow peas, followed up with the meatballs (and their collected juice from while resting), then snuggle in your 6-4 sliced and browned yellow squash. Slurp in the remaining saffron and saffron water. Give the stew a gentle loosening from the bottom, add the lid, and turn the heat to medium-low; Just gentle enough to stew the contents without burning the bottom. This also means to do this “loosening” regularly…like every 10 minutes.
- Stew the Khoresht 45 minutes until flavorful and the squash is tender yet still held together. Serve with steamed Pollo (basmati rice)
*ADVIEH GOOSHT (Persian Meat Spice Blend) SEASONING: From The Persian Mamma
2 TBSP ground turmeric
3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Bay leaf, crushed
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp paprika