Quemeh

1 1/2 lbs. stew meat
3 large red onions, chopped
1/3 cup yellow split peas
1 can tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon tumeric
Salt & black pepper to taste
4 dried lemons, crushed
1 large white potato, peeled
Vegetable oil

Cover the yellow split peas with water and set aside to soak. 

Cut the meat into 1/2″ cubes and place it in a large frying pan with the onions and some vegetable oil.  Fry until the meat and onions turn golden brown.  Stir frequently so that the meat does not stick and burn.

Drain the yellow split peas, add them to the meat mixture.  While stirring frequently, continue frying for 5 more minutes.
Put the meat mixture in a 2-quart pot.  Pour 1/2 cup of water into the frying pan, put it back on the fire and stir well until it comes to a boil.  Then add this to the meat, along with the tomato paste, tumeric, dried lemons, cinnamon and black pepper and an additional 1-1/2 cups of water.  Let simmer about 1-1/2 hours until the meat and peas are tender and the onions are beginning to dissolve.  Stir frequently and add additional water, ½ cup at a time, as needed. 

While the meat is simmering, slice the potato into thin 1″ long French fries.  Fry until crisp and set aside for garnish.
When the meat is tender, salt to taste. 

When ready to serve, garnish with the potatoes and serve with plain rice.

VARIATION:  To make Quemeh Bademjan, omit the potatoes.  Peel and saute 1/2″ thick lengthwise slices of eggplant until golden-brown.  1/2 hour before serving, add the eggplant to the Quemeh.  After this stir gently so as not to break up the eggplants.

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