mixed-herb stewPosted: 1 December 2011
Ghormeh sabzi, a mixed-herb stew or khoresh is the signature dish of any Iranian’s kitchen. So much so there is even an anthropological article written entitled “Bastard chicken or Ghormeh Sabzi”, by Lynn Harbottle which I recommend you read if interested in the strategies Iranian women migrants in UK employ to keep their family healthy through good food and Persian cooking. Now, My recipe:
Ingredients: (serving 5-6) milk veal, or lamb, 500 grams, cleaned, washed and cut in small to medium chunks. Onion, 1 medium, finely sliced. Fresh herbs, 500 grams in total washed and chopped; herbs consist of parsley and leek in equal amounts, coriander half that amount. Fenugreek, one tbsp. if fresh, and less than half that amount, if dried herb is being used. Note that you could indeed use a combination of fresh and dried herbs (or even all dried) without loosing much of the taste. See below for some tips. Roman beans, half a cup. Dried limes 5-6. Turmeric, 2 tea spoons. Oil, about 2/3 of cup. Salt, and powdered black pepper to taste.
Method: In a small pot wash the roman beans, add a pinch of salt cover with water and cook until half done. In a medium pot, sauté onions in 2 tbsp. of hot oil until golden. Add the meat and fry a few minutes until its color turns whitish. Add turmeric and fry two more minutes. Add salt and pepper, top with warm water and cook until it is tender but not entirely soft. While the meat and beans are cooking, use a frying pan and fry herbs in 3-4 tbsp. of hot oil over medium heat. If you are using a combination of fresh and dried herbs start by frying the fresh herbs. Meanwhile, soak dried herbs in a colander placed in a bowl of water for 5 minutes. Drain and add semi-dried herbs to the frying pan. Fry the mixed herbs for at least 15 minutes. Stir frequently and add oil if necessary. The goal is to get a fairly dark green mixed herbs. Add the thoroughly fired herbs and semi cooked roman beans to your main pot of the stew and simmer for at least one hour.
All Iranian khoreshes need to be slow cooked to allow a smooth blend of tastes and parts. Ghormeh sabzi in particular must be given a lot of blending and settling time, or it simply would not turn as scented and delicious as it should. Ten minutes before serving, put little holes in dried limes and throw them in the pot. They go soft quickly. Squeeze a couple with the back of a spoon to give ghormeh sazi its mildly sour taste. People at the table might help themselves with a whole lime and squeeze it in their own plate if they like to add more sourness. Like all khoreshes, ghormeh sabzi is served with plain white rice, steamed cooked Iranian style.