Koresh Ghormeh Sabzi, a Persian herb stew, must be the most well known Persian dish, and is well known for it’s delightful smell. Many times I’ve had guests for dinner and when greeting them at the door they comment on the wafting aromas as they walked down the street.
The delightful smell is from the addition of dried fenugreek leaves, otherwise known as shanbalileh in Farsi or methi in Indian recipes. You can buy the frozen fenugreek in Indian grocery stores, and more recently I have seen fresh fenugreek available.
There are many ways of making ghormeh sabzi, and some recipes are very time consuming, and other methods are quick and easy to use.
When I first started making Ghormeh Sabzi, we lived in out-back Australia, and my husbands parents would post the sabzi to us from Iran. It was always very exciting to receive one of these food packages. Of course the packages had been opened and check by Australian Customs, and they wonderful aroma of the dried Shanbalileh would be seeping out of the box.
As time progressed, we were able to purchase the the pre-packaged Ghormeh Sabzi dried herbs, and now we can purchase the sabzi, already fried and ready to add in a can.
This recipes uses fresh herbs, with dried Shanbalileh (fenugeek leaves) as these fresh herbs are often hard to find. A food processor makes this method much easier and less time consuming.
You can either use canned kidney beans or dried, pre-soaked kidney beans. If you use the canned beans, then you can add them to Ghormeh Sabzi , about 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Dried Persian limes (Limu Omani) are an integral part of this Persian herb stew. The dried limes are unique to Persian cuisine and are often added whole to dishes such as Gorme Sabzi. You can either add dried limes whole or crushed.
As the Gormeh Sabzi cooks, the mixture becomes quite a dark green and the spinach thickens the stew. This Persian herb stew is not thickened like many of the usual Persian khoresh resulting in a delicious liquid for the rice to soak up.
Serve with steamed basmati rice and thickened yogurt.
Koresht Gorme Sabzi – Persian Lamb & Herbs Stew
- Too prepare the fresh herbs including the spinach, wash well, and chop finely. A food processor makes light work of this, processing in batches with the pulse setting. Being very careful not to over process.
- In a heavy based large frying pan, heat the oil with the turmeric. Fry the diced lamb on a medium high heat until brown and the juices are sealed.
- Add the prepared fresh, finely chopped fresh herbs and the dried fenugreek leaves, and lightly fry.
- Lightly crush the dried Persian limes and add to the saucepan.
- If using pre-soaked kidney beans add these now.
- Add lemon juice and enough water to well cover the ingredients, at least 1 litre.
- Bring to boil and then lightly simmer on a low heat for about 2-3 hours. Adding water as required.
- About half way though the cooking time, add salt to taste.
- If using canned kidney beans, add these about 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Fenugreek leaves, otherwise known as Shanbalileh or Methi is widely used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. It is one of the herbs used in Gormeh Sabzi and Kookoo Sabzi. Read more about the history of fenugreek.