Fragrant Persian Herb Stew: Ghormeh Sabzi


Discover the essence of Persian cuisine with Ghormeh Sabzi, a tantalizing herb stew that's been a staple in Iranian households for centuries. This aromatic dish is a symphony of fresh herbs, tender meat, and tangy dried limes, simmered to perfection. Each bite offers a taste of Persian tradition and hospitality, making it a beloved comfort food that warms both the heart and soul.

Fragrant Persian Herb Stew: Ghormeh Sabzi

Preparation and Cooking Time

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 6
  • Serving Size: 1 bowl

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 350 kcal
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 600mg


  • 500g (1.1 lbs) beef or lamb, cut into cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 200g (7 oz) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 200g (7 oz) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 200g (7 oz) fresh chives or green onions, chopped
  • 100g (3.5 oz) fenugreek leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 4 dried limes (limoo amani), pierced
  • 1 can (400g/14 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cups water

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and finely chop the parsley, cilantro, and chives or green onions. If using fresh fenugreek, chop it finely. If using dried fenugreek, rehydrate in a little warm water.
  2. Heat half of the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped herbs and sauté until they are wilted and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute.
  4. Add the meat cubes to the pot and brown them on all sides.
  5. Sprinkle turmeric, salt, and black pepper over the meat and stir well. Add the dried limes, piercing them with a fork before adding.
  6. Add the sautéed herbs to the pot and mix well. Pour in the water, bringing the mixture to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender.
  8. About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the kidney beans to the stew. Adjust seasoning with more salt if needed.
  9. Serve the Ghormeh Sabzi hot, accompanied by steamed basmati rice.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Use fresh herbs for the best flavor. If fresh fenugreek is unavailable, dried fenugreek can be used, but rehydrate it first.
  • The dried limes give the stew its distinctive tangy flavor. If unavailable, you can substitute with fresh lime juice, but the flavor will differ slightly.
  • Letting the stew simmer slowly ensures the meat becomes tender and the flavors meld beautifully.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use chicken instead of beef or lamb?

  • Yes, you can use chicken, but the cooking time will be shorter. Use bone-in chicken for more flavor.

Can I make this stew vegetarian?

  • Absolutely! Replace the meat with more kidney beans or a mix of beans and add vegetables like mushrooms or eggplant for extra texture.

What can I use instead of dried limes?

  • Fresh lime juice or lemon juice can be used, but the dried limes provide a unique flavor that's hard to replicate.

Indulge in a bowl of Ghormeh Sabzi, where each spoonful is a journey to the heart of Persian culinary tradition. Whether enjoyed with family or served at a gathering, this herbaceous, savory stew is sure to captivate and comfort.