Persian Split Pea and Barley Stew

From Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites. I substitute sweet potato for regular potato in this recipe.


  • 1/2 c  raw barley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 4 c water
  • 1 c dried split yellow peas
  • 1 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 c coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 c carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 c sweet potatoes, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 2 c vegetable stock
  • 2 c coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 T currants or raisins
  • 1/4 c minced fresh parsley
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the barley, bay leaf, garlic and 2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the split peas, cardamom, cinnamon and the remaining water and simmer, covered for another 45 minutes, or until the barley and split peas are soft and most of the liquid has absorbed.
  3. Stir occasionally and, if necessary, add a small amount of additional water to prevent the mixture from sticking.
  4. While the barley and split peas are cooking, place the onions, carrots, potatoes, salt, cayenne, and stock in a large saucepan.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes and continue to simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Add the cooked barley and split peas. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaf.

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