In a small bowl, mix the turmeric with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the spice mixture, turning to coat both sides.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Brown the chicken well on both sides, about 7 minutes per side. Pour in the water, then add the garlic, stirring it into the water. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and cover. Braise the chicken for 25 minutes, until the inside is opaque. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, turn up the heat to high, and reduce the cooking liquid for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until it's slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and pour the sauce over the chicken.
Dust the chicken with sumac and pepper, garnish with lime halves, and serve.
Use whole portobello mushrooms in place of the chicken, or use 1 pound firm tofu, well drained and cut into slabs 1 inch thick. You will need a little extra oil for searing than what is called for in the recipe.
Reprinted with permission from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Louisa Shafia develops recipes, teaches cooking classes, makes cooking videos and writes cookbooks. Her first cookbook, Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, was nominated for best book of the year by the IACP in the Health and Special Diet category. She is the author of the blog Lucid Food.