- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 4 cups water
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Golchin dried red split peas, picked over and rinsed
- 1/4 cup tomato paste (preferably Turkish)
- 2 dried Omani lemons (optional), pierced in several places with a small sharp knife
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh Key lime or lemon juice
Cook onions in oil in a heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
Pat meat dry and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to high, then add meat, saffron, and turmeric to onions and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is no longer pink.
Stir in water and tomatoes, then simmer, covered, 1 hour.
Stir in split peas, tomato paste, Omani lemons (if using), cinnamon, allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more. Discard Omani lemons and stir in salt and Key lime juice to taste.
Serve over white basmati rice