Ghormeh Sabzi is a traditional Iranian herb and meat stew dish. While recipes vary slightly, most recipes will consist of parsley, fenugreek, cilantro, dried Persian lime, onion, kidney beans and meat. The herbs are cooked separately from the beans and meat. Near the end of the cooking time all the ingredients are combined. Ghormeh Sabzi is almost always served with rice.
The country presently known as Iran is also the location of the ancient Kingdom of Persia. Today, Iran and Persia are used interchangeably. For those reasons you may also see Ghormeh Sabzi referred to as Persian stew.
Iranian cuisine does not typically use spicy peppers. Instead, it favors spices like cilantro, mint, parsley, turmeric which give dishes strong flavor. Pomegranate juice or lime are used to add sour flavor elements.
Recipes vary by what region of Iran they come from and due to modern changes. Some regions use spinach leaves in the recipe. Others add potatoes, tomato paste or black-eyed peas in place of kidney beans. Lamb is the most served meat but using beef is also just as popular.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Ghormeh Sabzi is considered to be several hundred years old and often referred to as the national dish of Iran. This main dish is well loved and deeply rooted in Iranian culture. In fact, for Iranians living abroad, the last Saturday of November is unofficially celebrated as “International Ghormeh Sabzi Appreciation Day”.
- Vegetable oil - 5 tbsp
- White onion, finely chopped - 1
- Garlic cloves, finely chopped - 4
- Ground turmeric - 1 tsp
- Boneless lamb cut into small cubes - 1 lb
- Water - 2 ½ cups
- Dried Persian limes (limoo amani) - 4
- Flat leaf parsley - 5
- Cilantro - 3 ½ cups
- Chives - 3 ½ cups
- Fresh fenugreek - 1 cup
- Tomato paste - 1 tsp
- Red kidney beans, drained and rinsed - 1 14.5 oz can
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over medium – high heat for 10 minutes, until golden. Add the turmeric and stir for 30 seconds until the onions are well coated. Add the meat, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, until browned.
- Add the water and limes. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam on the surface. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours
- While the meat is cooking, wash, dry and chop the herbs.
- Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large pan and stir fry the herbs for 5-7 minutes until wilted. All the herbs and the tomato paste to the meat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for a final 30 minutes.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning and remove the dried limes if using them. Serve on plain white rice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 819Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 459mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 21gSugar: 8gProtein: 50g