Ghormeh Sabzi - My favorite Persian dish
There are many versions of this dish; possibly as many versions as there are people who make it. The name translates to "Gourmet Vegetables" and the ingredients are just as general as the title. This version is what I learned from my ex-fiancée's mother. They came over to the states from Iran and I fell in love with the food and culture. It was because of this dish that one of my minors in college was Middle Eastern Gourmet Cooking. One thing I love is all the flavor this one has with so few ingredients. It is extremely rich in flavor and the rice on which it is served is needed to help mellow that out a bit.
Speaking of the rice, I assume you know how to make white rice so I will skip that part of the recipe. Note: In the ingredients list, it calls for a lemon. Technically, that should be a couple dried lemons, but I can't find them in my area so I have to resort to fresh ones when I go out to buy ingredients.
The amounts of each herb are not set in stone. I buy them by the 'bunch' and that's what the amount of each ended up being tonight. Since I usually don't measure when I cook, this is the first notation of each that I have ever made. It turned out pretty good, but I think it could have used a slight more cilantro (but I love cilantro... a lot).
Under Prep Time, I have 45 minutes. I have no counter space and extremely limited cooking area. Anyone with a kitchen, proper utensils and bowls could probably easily cut 15 minutes off that time. It is a very simple dish to make, but can be time consuming.
- Prep time: 45 min
- Cook time: 45 min
- Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
- Yields: Serves 4 people.
- [See Pic - Approx. 1 steak cubed] Meat:, Beef, Pork, or Lamb
- 1½ Cup Fresh Chopped Spinach, Packed
- 1 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley, Packed -- Flat Parsley
- 1½ Cup Fresh Chopped Dill, Packed
- 3/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Cilantro, Packed
- 1 Lemon, Quartered
- 1 Can Kidney Beans, Dark Red
- Pre-heat large skillet on Medium to Medium High (You can add a teaspoon or so of olive oil if you desire, but not necessary). While the pan is heating, drain Kidney Beans and set aside.
- Cut meat into 1 inch squares and place in heated skillet. Be sure to move them around a bit until slightly browned just to keep them from scorching to the pan.
- While the meat is cooking, chop the herbs fine to medium and set them aside (no need to keep them separate as portrayed in the images). Cut lemon into quarters and place in bowl with herbs.
- Once meat is cooked to about medium, add herbs with lemon and add kidney beans (do not drain meat unless it is very greasy). Do not stir the herbs into it yet.
- Cover and reduce heat to Medium Low. [This would be a good time to start your rice]
- Allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until the herbs are a dark green/olive drab color, stirring occasionally. When the lemons are very soft, since I don't use dried lemon, I press the lemon wedges with the spatula to get more juice into the herbs.
- Turn off heat, give one last good stir, and serve over rice (leaving the lemons in the pan).
So when I was in South Florida, one of my employees was Persian. His mother made this dish and it was almost identical to my version but there was something slightly different (and better) about it. I asked what it was. Her response: "...it needs to involve Tumeric or it's not Persian." hehe... I found that amusing and decided to give it a shot. What I started doing since is adding tumeric to the rice and a little on top of the herbs while they cook. The result is amazing. I highly recommend adding a sprinkle of tumeric to it to taste.
As I said in the intro paragraph, this is my favorite Persian dish and possibly my favorite dish overall. There are a lot of other versions that also add garlic and other herbs. I would recommend making this one a couple times then start playing with it. Just make sure to use fresh herbs. As long as you use what you like, you can't screw it up, but rather make a new version.
I look forward to hearing your feedback and ideas and if someone could PLEASE tell me how to set up pictures side by side so I don't have all this useless white space, that would be excellent!
Let me know in the comments waaaaaay below!