Ghormeh sabzi is a Persian herb stew. It is a popular dish in current day Iran, Iraq, and Azerbaijan; traditional and very popular, served when family members return home after being away.
Ghormeh means stewed and sabzi literally means greens, which is herbs in English. The main ingredients are a variety of sauteed herbs, mainly spinach, parsley, spring onions, fresh coriander; seasoned with the key herb, dried fenugreek leaves (called shambalileh in Persian), which gives it the peculiar flavour.
They are cooked with beans (red kidney beans, rose cocoa beans, haricot beans, etc) onions and most importantly pierced dried ‘limu-omani’ (Persian sundried limes). I prepare my version as follows and it serves four hungry punters quite easily:
- Fresh spinach 1 bunch or 1 medium size package/200 gm of frozen
- Fresh parsley large bunch
- Spring onions 1 bunch
- Fresh Leek 1-2 (only the green stems)
- Fresh fenugreek bunch, if not available replace with 2 tablespoons of dried fenugreek leaves
- Two sun-dried limes (available in Middle Eastern shops) or juice of a fresh lime (less authentic flavour)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced.
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil.
- 1 cup of pre-soaked Rose coco beans, (Borlotti beans, Saluggia beans, Roman beans, Crab Eye Beans); alternatively you can use red kidney beans!
- 1/2 tsp Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the beans 24 hours prior to preparation of the dish (minimum of over night)
- Chop the leeks, spring onions, spinach, dill, parsley and fenugreek fairly finely
- Sauté these in 2 tablespoons of oil in a non stick frying pan for about 5 minutes or until the water has dried, take the pan off and put it aside
- Using another pot, sauté the diced onions in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until they are golden brown
- Add salt, pepper and turmeric and continue for a few more minutes.
- Add the beans now and switch heat to medium.
- Crush the sun-dried limes and add them to the mixture.
- Add approximately two cups of boiling water and with the lid on, boil for an additional 15 minutes.
- Now add the fried vegetables into the mixture and simmer on medium/low heat for 45 min to an hour, stirringly occasionally.
- Add the lime juice, blend and serve over pollo. Alternatively eat with Naan-e-Barbarri or Lavaash.