Tomato & Lamb Rice - Chekdermeh

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

Chekdermeh is an authentic and traditional Turkman dish cooked in the province of Golestan, northern Iran. It's a dish which bears a lot of similarity to the Estanboli polo of Tehran.

I loved making this as it really is a no fuss, extremely easy and quick one pot dish to make. Like the Turkman nomads who made this for its simplicity of putting everything together and letting the magic work with the tomato and the spices, my joy in making this was for its speed and depth of flavour. As a busy mum this is one dish I'll make again.



For the stew

700g lamb pieces (see lamb note)

300g tomato sieved

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 onion (medium size)

1/2 tbsp turmeric

1tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup oil

For the rice

2 cups rice (see rice note)

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tbsp salt

For the rice spice (Adviyeh Berenj)

2 tsp ground cumin (optional)

1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground saffron

1/2 tsp ground rose petals (optional)


Rice Note: I've used 2 cups of rice as the type of rice I've used expands well in length, however your rice may be fine and small, if this is the case you may need 3 cups rather than the 2 cups I've suggested.

Lamb Note: This is a flavourful dish, so ensure your lamb has enough fat on it, otherwise your lamb will turn out to be very dry.


Step 1

  • Pour the oil into a medium to large pot

  • Finely chop the onion and fry until golden brown.

  • Add the turmeric and fry for another 30 seconds

  • Add the lamb and stir well

  • Add the salt and pepper and continue stirring until the meat has browned well

  • Add the tomato puree and stir for 2 minutes

  • Add the sieved tomato

  • Give a final stir and cover the pot

  • Allow to cook over medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes or until the lamb pieces are tender and the stew has reduced to a thicker consistency

Step 2

For the rice

  • In a separate pot add the rice and wash

  • Drain the water

  • Add enough water for the rice to boil in

  • Add the salt and oil

  • Stir

  • Place over a high heat and allow to boil

  • Once the rice is par boiled remove from the heat

  • Use a colander to drain the water from the rice

  • Place the rice back into the pot

  • Set aside

Step 3

For the rice spice (Adviyeh Berenj)

  • Mix all the spices together

Step 4

  • Add the mixed rice spice to the drained rice

  • Gently, so as not to break the rice, using a fork, pic at the rice to mix the spice in

Step 5

  • Add the rice to the stew

  • Gently give it a stir so that all the rice is mixed in the stew

  • If the stew has reduced a lot and does not cover the rice to at least 2 cm above the rice, then add 1 cup of water to the rice and stew mix (skip this if this point if it this is not the case)

  • Stir gently

  • Raise the heat to medium and allow to boil until small holes of steam start appearing in the rice and the rice appears above the stew

  • Reduce the heat to low

  • Cover the top and allow to slowly steam for 30 minutes

Serve this authentic Persian Turkman dish with garlic yogurt and pickles (Torshi).

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