Persian Herb Stew


Ghormeh Sabzi – Subtle Persian seasonings in a healthy, delicious stew


1 onion

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp turmeric

1 lb. stewing meat**

4 dried Persian limes (OR 1/4 cup lime juice)

1 15-oz. can kidney beans

3 or 4 bunches fresh parsley, chopped

2 bunches fresh fenugreek, chopped (OR 1 Tbs. dried fenugreek)

2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped

2 bunches fresh green onions, chopped

salt & pepper

olive oil

Small dice onion and mince garlic.

In a Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until they are translucent. 

Add turmeric and stir well. 

Cut meat into cubes; add to onion mixture. 

Season with salt and pepper and allow to brown on all sides.

Add 4 cups of water, cover, and cook on medium heat for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, use a paring knife to make a couple of small holes each of the dried limes. 

Add the limes to the meat along with the kidney beans.

While the meat is cooking, finely chop the herbs.

Sauté herbs in oil in a frying pan for a few minutes until you smell their aroma.  This is a very important step in making this recipe.  Don’t skip it because it really does make a difference in the taste.

Add sautéed herbs to the meat and beans. 

Cook covered on medium-low for heat 2 to 21/2 hours. 

Make sure to stir the pot every so often and also taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with basmati rice.


“Sabzi” is a stew of herbs and green vegetables. The recipe shown here is very basic. I usually add one or two leeks (well cleaned and chopped) and a bunch of chopped, fresh spinach when I make it.

You can adapt the ingredients to what you have available.

Note about time: If you use a cheap cut of meat, it really will take as long as it says in the recipe to cook this dish. If you use a finer cut, though, like sirloin, the recipe can be done quicker. After the initial hour of cooking time for the meat, add the sautéed herbs and cook for an additional 30 minutes.