Persian Quince Stew (Khoresh-E Beh)
Recipe By: The Persian cookbook, “Food of Life”
2 onions -- finely sliced
1/3 cup oil -- or butter
1 pound stew meat -- cut in 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups water
2 large quince
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vinegar -- or lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon saffron -- dissolve in 1Tb. hot
1/3 cup yellow split peas
In large pot, brown onions in 3 Tbsp. of oil or butter. Add meat and brown. Add salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Add water, cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hr, stirring occasionally. Wash, but don't peel quinces.
Use apple corer to remove seeds. Slice as for apple pie. In skillet, saute in 2 Tbsp. oil or butter and set aside. To the meat, add sugar, vinegar or lemon juice, saffron, split peas, and quince. Cover and simmer
35 minutes. Check to see that meat and fruit are cooked. Taste and correct seasoning. Transfer to deep casserole dish and keep in warm oven until ready to serve. Serve hot with chelo (recipe below.) CHELO 3 cups basmati rice 8 cups water 2 tblsp salt 3/4 cup melted butter 1/2 tsp ground saffron, dissolved in 2 Tbsp. hot water 2 tblsp yogurt (optional) Wash rice 5 times in cold water. Bring water and salt to boil in a large non-stick pan. Add washed and drained rice. Boil 6 minutes, stirring gently twice to loosen grains that may have stuck to bottom.
Drain rice in colander and rinse in lukewarm water. In same pot, heat half the butter, 2 Tbsp. hot water, a drop of dissolved saffron, and yogurt. Taking one spatula at a time, place rice gently in pot mounding in the shape of a pyramid. Dissolve remaining butter in 2 Tbsp. hot water and pour over rice. Place clean dishtowel over pot and cover firmly with lid to prevent steam from escaping. Cook 10 minutes over medium heat and 50 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat. Allow to cool 5 minutes on damp surface without removing lid. Put 2 Tbsp. of the rice in with remaining saffron and set aside for garnish. Gently remove rice from pot without disturbing crust. Sprinkle saffron flavored rice over top and serve. Detach crust and serve separately. Note: ----- I am giving the detailed instructions. I don't use the yogurt and I drizzle the remaining saffron over *all* the rice. I also serve the tah dig (crust) with the rest of the rice.