Khoresh Gheimeh

(Lamb, dried lime and tomato casserole)

When thumbing through Victoria Moore's excellent new book, The Wine Dine Dictionary, the following recipe leapt out at me, partly for the use of an ingredient I hadn't heard of before and was intrigued by, but also because it sounds delicious, a little different, and the perfect partner for this month's Explore bottle, Sendiäna Rouge 2014 from Lebanon. Victoria says that you can't really replicate the exquisite taste of dried limes, so if you don't have access to a Middle Eastern grocery, they can be ordered online.

Joanna Goodman, News Editor

Dried Limes

'Dried limes are used in Middle Eastern cooking. They are intensely aromatic and the lime comes through in a very dusty and earthy, rather than in a sharp, way. They have a tendency to take over a dish, and when that happens I look to reds that remind you of the soil and heat. Those from Greece, Lebanon, Turkey and Portugal often work well. The recipe below is an adaptation of a classic Iranian dish. I love the strong flavour of the limes in it so much that I break them up and squeeze them over the food on my plate to get even more of the dusty limeyness out. If dried limes are an alien flavour, maybe just use one the first time you make this, as the taste is quite powerful.'

Ingredients Serves 3-4

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 500g lamb, diced
  • 1 pinch of saffron, mixed with 2 tbsp warm water
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 x 400g tin (whole) tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 dried limes, pierced a couple of times with a metal skewer or corkscrew
  • 150g split yellow peas, rinsed in cold water
  • 500ml water
  • 1 aubergine
  • plain yoghurt to serve (optional)

Method

Victoria Moore Victoria Moore
Author and wine correspondent, The Daily Telegraph & BBC Good Food

Put 2 tbsps of olive oil in a small casserole dish, heat gently, add the onions and fry until they are almost soft and translucent. Add the garlic, stir and continue to cook until both garlic and onions are pale gold. Use a slotted spoon to take them out of the pan and set aside. Now brown the lamb in the same pan, turning up the heat and adding more oil if necessary. Return the onion mixture to the pan and stir in the saffron, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the edge of the spoon as you stir, and the tomato purée. Pour some of the water into the tomato can, swirl it around and then add all the water to the pan along with the dried limes. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Now stir in the split yellow peas and carry on simmering, partially covered, for 45-60 minutes. Check to make sure the casserole does not simmer dry, adding more water if necessary. While the casserole is cooking, slice the aubergine and cut into strips. Fry these in oil until they are golden and cooked, then put them on a plate, layered with kitchen roll to absorb the grease. The stew is ready when the pulses are completely cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Serve with rice studded with little chunks of cold butter, and the aubergine strips scattered on top, with a dish of yoghurt on the side if you like.

Victoria Moore
Author and wine correspondent, The Daily Telegraph & BBC Good Food

The Wine Dine Dictionary

Book offer

The Wine Dine Dictionary doesn't just help you to find the perfect wine for dinner or the perfect dinner for a particular wine – it also explains why certain combinations work. More than that, it has chapters on the psychology of taste and the language of wine, and is peppered with enticing recipes that make you want to drop everything and cook. Fellow wine and food journalist Fiona Beckett said she didn't know whether to keep it by her bed or in the kitchen as it's a brilliant read, and we agree.

We have negotiated a special price with the publishers Granta for members to buy The Wine Dine Dictionary (400pp/hardback) through Foyles online for £13 (rrp £20), a discount of 35%. Order before the end of December at foyles.co.uk using the following promotional code: WineSoc. Only valid on regular web orders, not on click & collect.

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November 2017

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