Persian cuisine: Khoresh-e Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian herb, bean and lamb stew)

August 14, 2020 - 21:52

TEHRAN – Khoresh-e Ghormeh Sabzi is known as one of the most prominent dishes in Persian culinary heritage. The herb stew is loaded with the flavors of several different green herbs and it’s traditionally served atop white rice.

The main ingredients are a blend of sautéed herbs, consisting mainly of parsley, leeks or green onions, and coriander, seasoned with the key spice of dried fenugreek leaves, that is cooked with kidney beans or yellow split peas, yellow or red onions, black lime (pierced dried limoo amani), and turmeric-seasoned lamb or beef.

Stews are a big part of Iranian cuisine. Ghormeh Sabzi along with Fesenjan and Gheimeh are an essential part of the culinary tradition of the nation and also the most common stews cooked by all Iranians both at homes and restaurants.


¼ cup canola oil, divided

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 ½ pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

1 ½ cups finely chopped spinach

1 cup finely chopped green onions (green part only)

½ cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

¼ cup finely chopped chives

¼ cup finely chopped fenugreek leaves

1 ½ cups water, or more as needed

1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 lemon, juiced

4 dried Persian limes (limoo amani), or more to taste

1 (15 ounces) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed


1) Heat two tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in turmeric for one to two minutes. Add chuck cubes; cook until coated in turmeric and browned on all sides, eight to 10 minutes.

2) Heat remaining two tablespoons oil in a separate pot over medium heat. Add spinach, green onions, parsley, cilantro, chives, and fenugreek leaves; cook and stir until deep dark green in color, five to 10 minutes.

3) Stir spinach mixture into the onion and chuck mixture. Pour in enough water to create a slurry consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in lemon juice. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer stew until greens soften, about one hour.

4) Pierce dried limes with a fork and add to the stew. Continue simmering until chuck is tender, 30 minutes to one hour. Stir in red kidney beans. Cook until flavors combine, about 30 minutes. Discard dried limes before serving.


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