Diced Lamb and Almond Stew
Updated: Jun 6
I first tasted Pichagh Gheymeh when my sister-in-law made it for us.
A dish from Ardabil in Iranian Azerbaijan. The beautiful intensity of this dry stew owes it's rich flavour to the almonds which give it a slight crunch and the smoothness of the diced lamb and rich tomato base. Usually served with a couple of eggs that are placed in wells / holes in the Gheymeh and allowed to poach slowly to ensure the yolk remains slightly runny.
'Pichagh' in Azeri means 'Knife' and 'Gheymeh' is referred to diced lamb, so the dish is aptly named 'Knifed Gheymeh' which literally means 'Cut Lamb'.
It is mouth watering stew which goes well served either with rice or with bread, my preference would be to eat it with Lavash bread as it is a very light type of bread and easy bread to make.
300g Lamb meat
1 cup almond slivers
1 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
3 medium sized onions (thinly sliced length ways)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp tomato puree
3 cups water
1/3 cup oil (this is for frying the finely chopped onion with the meat)
Dice one onion and fry until golden brown.
Add the turmeric and stir into the frying onion for 30 seconds.
Chop the lamb into small pieces and add to the fried onions.
Add the diced lamb and fry vigorously with the fried onions for 5 minutes until the colour becomes slightly darker.
Add the dry spices; salt, pepper, saffron and cinnamon and stir into the lamb.
Add the tomato puree and stir vigorously for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add 3 cups of water and allow to boil for 45 minutes on medium heat until the stew reduces considerably to a thicker and less watery consistency, but not dry.
While the stew is cooking, soak the almond slivers in one cup of water and set aside.
Once the stew has reduced add the almond slivers with it's water carefully into the stew and stir once so as not to break the almonds.
Reduce the heat and allow the stew to cook for another 20 minutes to further reduce.
Slice 3 medium sized onions into slivers.
Fry the onions in batches until golden brown. Set aside.
Place the fried onions on top of the stew (do not stir in) and cover the top.
Allow the fried onions to infuse for 10 minutes into the stew.
Step 4 This is an optional step
With a small teaspoon, make three medium sized wells / holes in your stew
Break and place a raw egg in each hole
Cover the top and allow the eggs to poach
Remove the Pichagh Gheymeh from the heat and serve with fragrant saffron rice or Lavash bread.