Persian Shami Lapeh (Split Pea & Meat Patties) is a delicious and traditional Persian main dish. Shami is a combination of beef, yellow split peas, egg and spices.
Yield: Makes 15-16 Shami Lapeh
- 400 g stewing beef, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) yellow split peas
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
- canola oil
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- salt & pepper to taste
Dissolve ground saffron in 1 tablespoon of boiling water and set aside (click for How to Use Saffron).
Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain. Place the peas in a pot and pour 3-4 cups water over them. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until peas are tender (add more water during cooking, if necessary). Drain and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a pot over medium heat; add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add beef and saute until brown on all sides. Add the turmeric, 1 1/2 cups water, salt and pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Place the beef and peas in a large bowl; combine well. Using a food processor, grind the beef and peas mixture until smooth and soft.
Add the eggs, dissolved saffron, baking powder, salt and black pepper; mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Take a small amount of the mixture (about 3 tablespoons) and make a small ball out of it. Flatten the ball shaping into patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Poke a hole in the center.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to medium. Place the Shami gently in the frying pan (making sure not to overcrowd).
Fry until they are cooked through and golden brown on each side (once you see that the bottom has turned into golden color flip them over). Add more oil, if necessary. Be careful not to overcook and burn them.
Place them on paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Then transfer to a serving dish and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve cold or hot with bread.
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