The Habashi stew, a luxury food of people in southern Iran, is very tasty and easy to make.
The stew is a local food and served in parties.
It is made with both grape syrup and pomegranate paste, and has an interesting and different taste.
Lentils: Half a cupful
Fried onions: 3 spoons
Pomegranate paste: Half a cupful
Grape syrup: 3-4 spoons
Almond powder: 1.5 cupfuls
Dried plums: 5 or 6 ones
Prunes: 5 or 6 ones
Green sultanas: 50gr
Salt & pepper: As much as needed
Dried mint: 2 spoons
Garlic: 2 cloves
Brewed saffron: 2 spoons
Stew spice: As much as needed
Stew spice is one of the most commonly used spices in Iran. There is a clear-cut recipe to make stew spice, but locals in different provinces make some changes to the ingredients depending on their taste. Stew spice increases metabolism and helps remove excess fat from the body. In other words, stew spice is a fat-burning additive.
In the south, stew spice is usually made with 24 different items including red pepper, black pepper, fennel, caraway, green cardamom, turmeric, paprika, coriander seeds, ginger, curry powder, nutmeg, cloves, galangal, tarragon, thyme, hogweed, fenugreek, the Damask rose, mint, bay laurel, mustard, dried lime, mango powder.
Recipe for Habashi Stew:
1. Chop the meat and wash it well. Meanwhile, soak the lentils in water. Melt the butter in the dish in which you want to pour the stew, add the meat and fried onions and sauté them all together.
2. Remove the lentils from inside the water, add them to the meat and sauté them. When the water of the meat has evaporated, add the stew spice and mix them with the meat, fried onions and lentils. Take care that the spice is not left on the heat for so long as it will get burnt. So, you should immediately pour water into the casserole till it covers the materials. Now put the casserole lid back on and wait until the meat and lentils are cooked through. Now wash the prunes and dried plums and let them soak for 15 minutes.
3. After the food keeps boiling for three hours, add the pomegranate paste and grape syrup. Clean the sultanas and let them soak for 15 minutes. Afterwards, add almond powder, prunes, dried plums and sultanas to the stew. Now you may also add salt, pepper and saffron to make the stew more delicious.
4. Now that all ingredients are added to the stew, turn down the flame and put the casserole lid back on till the stew is cooked through.
5. Finally, cut the garlic into circular or whatever forms you desire and fry it. Then sauté the mint in oil or butter. Garnish the stew with fried garlic and onions before serving it.