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Ghormeh Sabzi Recipe | A Persian Herb Stew

Ghormeh Sabzi, an herb-forward stew which some consider to be the national dish of Iran. This uniquely green stew takes time to make but is very easy to make and doesn’t have a lot of ingredients. The flavor is built through traditional cooking methods as well as an abundance of fresh herbs, cooked in a skillet in order to develop deep savory and fresh flavors. Although known as a stew, it is quite thick and frequently served over rice.

A bowl of Ghormeh Sabzi Persian stew.

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Sabzi means herbs and Ghormeh means braised in Persian. Ghormeh Sabzi means braised greens. This traditional Persian stew is very herb-forward. The green, fresh herbs are first cooked in a little oil until broken down and a deep flavor develops. It is then added to a simmering pot with meat, onions and a few spices. Beans are often times added as well as dried Persian limes, if you can find them. If not, a fresh lime juice substitution at the end of cooking contributes the fresh tanginess required in this dish.

If you like this type of cuisine, check out more Persian dishes such as Khoresh Bademjan, a traditional Persian stew or Persian Beef Koobideh, a fantastic lamb kebab recipe.

A bowl of Ghormeh Sabzi Persian stew.

Why I Like This Stew

It has a large amount of fresh ingredients.

I have never cooked with this much fresh herbs before and I was intrigued. I LOVE it!

Although it is not a quick stew, it is very easy to make. No exceptional culinary skills required but if you do have a food processor, this recipe will be easy for you.

Of course, it’s delicious! It wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.

Ingredients

How To Make This Recipe

If you are passionate about this dish because of a favorite memory or just love to cook this, let me know about it. I live vicariously through all of the wonderful stories I come across.

A bowl of Ghormeh Sabzi Persian stew.

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A bowl of Ghormeh Sabzi Persian stew.

Ghormeh Sabzi Recipe

Yield: 8 Servings

Ghormeh Sabzi, an herb-forward stew which some consider to be the national dish of Iran. This uniquely green stew takes time to make but is very easy to make and doesn't have a lot of ingredients. The flavor is built through traditional cooking methods as well as an abundance of fresh herbs, cooked in a skillet in order to develop deep savory and fresh flavors. Although known as a stew, it is quite thick and frequently served over rice.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ pounds lamb or beef, boneless such as leg, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken or veg broth
  • 3 bunches of parsley, rinsed and drained*
  • 3 bunches cilantro, rinsed and drained*
  • 1 bunch scallions, rinsed, roots trimmed, sliced thinly*
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 4 dried Persian limes, rinsed and punctured multiple times with a fork (may substitute 1/2 cup fresh lime juice)
  • ¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads soaked in a little warm water (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and brown on all sides. After the meat is browned, add onion slices, reduce heat to medium and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the tasty brown bits. Cook onions until soft, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add turmeric, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Stir for a minute continuously, then add broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for one hour while cooking the herbs in the next step.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, add the parsley and cilantro, including the stems. Process until chopped finely, scraping down the sides as needed with rubber spatula. Process in batches if needed.
  4. In a large skillet add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add cilantro, parsley and fenugreek leaves (crushing the fenugreek between your fingers) and scallions, stir well and often. Cook for about 20 minutes adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning.
  5. After the meat and onion misture has simmered for an hour, add herbs and black beans to simmering onion and meat mixture, stir. Add Persian limes if using and simmer and cook covered for one more hour. If you are substituting fresh lime juice instead, add at the end of cooking.
  6. Remove lid, stir and simmer until stew becomes thick, about 20 minutes. Add fresh lime juice if using, and saffron mixture. Stir and serve.
  7. Serve over white rice.

Notes

- Depending on where you are, herbs come in different size packages. When chopped, the herbs and scallions should cover a 12 inch skillet by about 1/2 inch. It's about 8 cups of chopped greens.

- This recipe is somewhat flexible. If you don't like cilantro or parsely, simply double up on the other herb or even substitute with fresh chives.

- Dried Persian limes are not very common. You can find them in Middle Eastern and Indian grocery stores. If you can't find them, substituting fresh lime juice will work well.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 344Total Fat: 22gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 226mgProtein: 18g

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RESOURCES

Ghormeh Sabzi Wikipedia Article

List of Stews Wikipedia Article

Wendy

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

Hi Hi! When I saw this recipe in my e-mail box this morning, I didn't hesitate to want to make it for today, I have everything except parsley and cilantro, which is the easiest to find. Let's see, I am in Spain, I buy the fresh leaves in a Moroccan store where the package of coriander and parsley are gigantic, so I would like to know how much, more or less there are 3 packages. I think that sometimes you forget that people from all over the planet read you and the formats of the products are different; Oh, my God, it's not a reproach, it's just a reminder, it happens to many bloggers, but you bother me and many people with the recipe, especially if we are not very expert in quantities; please, don't take it badly, I only have gratitude for giving us part of your time and sharing, it is of great generosity. Another thing, from experience I tell you that machine-cut cilantro and parsley lose flavor when cut by hand. Yes, of course it's more comfortable and faster, but that's how it is. Beautiful, take care of yourself and thanks for sharing. kisses, greetings from Spain

Tina

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

Hello Wendy from Spain! How exciting, I am happy you are excited about this dish. That is very good information to know about the packaging differences. When the herbs are chopped, it covers my 12 inch skillet with 1/2 inch of herbs and scallions. It's about 8 cups of chopped herbs! It's a lot and that's what makes this stew so interesting. Thank you for everything. kisses and greeting from the US.

Natalie Harward

Monday 21st of February 2022

Where do you find fenugreek leaves?

Tina

Monday 21st of February 2022

Hey Natalie, I can't remember where I got this bag but I shop at Black Cherry Market in SLC, Asian Market Orem/Provo. I might have ordered this off Amazon but I think I actually got this at Asian Market Orem.

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