Iranian vegetable stew with dried lime

Ingredients

  • 50g clarified butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 20g coriander 
  • 10g tarragon 
  • 10g dill
  • 1kg waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 4cm chunks
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 4cm chunks 
  • 3 Iranian limes, pierced 2-3 times 
  • 1 whole green chilli, slit on one side from stem to tip
  • Salt
  • 5 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • 150g spinach leaves
  • 15g barberries 
  • 300g Greek yoghurt (optional)
Iranian vegetable stew with dried lime
    Serves six

Serve this sweet, sharp stew with steamed rice.

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put a large casserole dish on medium heat and sauté the butter, onion, turmeric and cumin for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Tie all the herbs into a bunch and add to the pot with the potatoes, squash, limes, chilli, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a litre of water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are semi-cooked. Stir through the tomatoes, spinach and barberries, crushing the limes gently as you do so, to release some of the juices inside.
  2. Tip into a large roasting tray and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little and the vegetables are soft. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for five minutes, then serve with a dollop of yoghurt on the side, if you like.