Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Persian Curry

We've cooked our way across North Africa and Israel and have finally made it to Persia in our quest to cook our way around the world.  I'm slow in getting these posts written and I have a lot of catching up to do as we just cooked Thai food tonight and that is at least four countries removed from Persia.  

This Persian curry recipe was suggested to me by our eldest son Malcolm.  Malcolm is an eclectic reader and one of the books he has enjoyed recently was a book of poetry by Rumi, who is a 13th century Persian poet, theologian, and mystic. At the back of the book was this recipe for Persian curry.  The original recipe was obviously meant to feed a crowd as it was four times as large as the one I have printed below.  Malcolm cut the recipe down, but it still makes a big pot full.  Malcolm also recommended this curry as a good recipe to take on a canoe trip - you just have to pre-soak the split peas (and chickpeas if you aren't using canned) in a Nalgene water bottle during the day so they don't take too long to cook at dinner time.  Good to know.  I wonder if Rumi ever thought this curry would be enjoyed by people canoeing through the wilds of Canada.  Well it was and it was also enjoyed by us here at home.


1/4 cup split peas
1/4 cup lentils
I can chickpeas, drained
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can of diced tomatoes
optional: cauliflower, leeks, spinach, cabbage, green peppers
pinch of cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne


1. Soak the split peas for about 3 hours.
2. Bring the lentils and split peas to a boil and cook for about 1 hour.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover.  Continue cooking until the vegetables are soft.  The recipe doesn't specify the quantity of each spice so I have included a minimum amount and you can add more to taste.
4.  Serve the curry with rice.  

We also felt that flat bread and pomegranate for dessert fit with the Persian theme - as did a colourful tablecloth and sitting on cushions on the floor around our low table in what we assumed was an ancient Persian style.

And since this recipe is from a book by Rumi, I will leave you with some chickpea inspiration that he wrote.

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Linked to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm


  1. This looks YUMMY! I love curry! :)
    Thank you for the recipe.

  2. I always soak my red beans over night before cooking them. This looks yummy! Do you dip the bread into the beans?