Ghormeh Sabzi | Persian Lamb Stew with Herbs
Lamb Dishes,  Persian Classics,  Persian Stews,  Uncategorized

Ghormeh Sabzi – Persian Lamb Stew with Herbs

Ghormeh Sabzi is a Persian classic! This hearty lamb stew is packed with herbs, giving it a multifaceted flavour. When you ask Iranians about their favourite food most of them will say it’s Ghormeh Sabzi.

Ghormeh Sabzi| Persian Lamb Stew with Herbs

It takes some time to make but the effort is well worth it. You can also speed up the process and make life easier for you by using pre-fried Ghormeh Sabzi herbs that you can find in Iranian supermarkets. If you prefer to make everything from scratch though you can wash, dry and finely chop the fresh herbs, and then fry them. Once cooled divide them into portions depending on your family’s size, and freeze them for later. This way you don’t always have to start from scratch the next few times you want to make Ghormeh Sabzi.

Ghormeh Sabzi | Persian Lamb Stew with Herbs

Common mistakes

There are a few things to keep it mind when making Ghormeh Sabzi. I will walk you through each step in this recipe but in case you’re wondering why your Ghormeh Sabzi isn’t turning out the way you intended and need to do some trouble shooting, I summarised the 5 most common mistakes here:

  1. The herbs are not fried enough resulting in lack of flavour and colour. You should aim for a deep dark green colour.
  2. Chewy meat. The stew didn’t cook long enough. Another key to delicious Ghormeh Sabzi is tender meat that falls off the bone. The meat takes time to cook so plan for enough time and don’t rush.
  3. It’s too watery. Either too much water has been added to it or it didn’t cook for long enough so the stew didn’t reduce enough.
  4. Bitter taste. The lemon seeds haven’t been removed from the dried lemons and spread everywhere in the stew so you accidentally bite on them and get a nasty bitter taste.
  5. Too many kidney beans. Don’t compensate for lack of meat with kidney beans. It’s a lamb stew, not a bean soup.

 

You can watch the video here or read on for the written recipe.


Ghormeh Sabzi

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword herbs, lamb stew, Persian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Hami

Ingredients

Herbs

  • 2 cans Fried Ghormeh Sabzi herbs (900g / 2 lbs)

OR

  • 300 g Parsley
  • 300 g Fenugreek
  • 400 g Leek

Meat

  • 1.5 kg Lamb leg and lamb shank (3.3 lbs)

Veggies & fruit

  • 1 can Red kidney beans (240g / 0.5 lbs)
  • 8 Dried lemons
  • 2 Onions
  • 5 cloves Garlic

Seasoning

  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • Salt (to taste)

Oil

  • 6 tbsp Vegetable oil

Instructions

PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS

  1. If you’re using fresh herbs wash them, spread them onto several clean kitchen towels on a table so they can dry. Once completely dry finely chop them. Wash, dry, and finely chop the leeks as well.

  2. Let the dried lemons soak in water.

  3. Finely chop the onions and garlic. Wanna chop onions like a pro? Take a look at my video tutorial here.

  4. Cut the meat into approx. 8 cm / 3” pieces.

FRY THE MEAT AND ONIONS

  1. Fry the meat chunks in 4 tbsp hot vegetable oil from each side until they are golden brown all around. Then transfer them into a large pan.

  2. Gently fry the onions in the same oil at medium heat for about 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and fry them together for a few more minutes. Season with turmeric and black pepper.

START COOKING THE STEW

  1. Add the onions to the pan with the meat. Season with salt and cover the meat with freshly boiled water.

  2. Remove the dried lemons that have been soaking from the water and add them to the stew. Put it on a low to medium heat with the lid on and let it simmer.

FRY THE HERBS

  1. Now fry the herbs in the remaining vegetable oil. Make sure to stir them regularly so they don’t burn. You wanna achieve a dark green, almost black colour, without burning them.

  2. A common mistake with making Ghormeh Sabzi is that the herbs are not being fried long enough. Persian cooking is usually not so much about the nutrients, it’s about cooking the ingredients over a long period of time to achieve maximum flavour. Wether that’s good or bad it’s how you achieve the authentic taste.

ADD THE HERBS AND LET YOUR GHORMEH SABZI SIMMER

  1. Remove the lemons from the stew and add the fried herbs to it. Give it a quick stir and put the lid back on.

  2. Once the lemons are cool enough to touch, cut them open and remove the seeds. This will prevent your Ghormeh Sabzi from tasting bitter. It’s another mistake I see people make. When the lemons are cooked soft and fall apart the seeds spread into the stew and when you get a bite with a lemon seed in it you get the bitter taste, spoiling your precious spoon full of Ghormeh Sabzi. Put the seedless lemons back into the pan and let it all simmer for at least another hour.

  3. You know your Ghormeh Sabzi is ready when the meat is nice and tender, almost falling off the bone. When that’s the case add the drained kidney beans and give it a final stir. Serve it with delicious saffron rice and red onions, if you like. Enjoy!

Ingredients (serving 8):

Lamb leg and lamb shank (1.5 kg)

Bone marrow (optional)

2 cans of fried Ghormeh Sabzi herbs (900g)

(If you want to use fresh herbs: 300g parsley, 400g leek, and 300g fenugreek)

1 can of red kidney beans (240g)

8 dried lemons

2 onions

5 garlic cloves

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

6 tbsp vegetable oil

 

Time:

Prep: 10 min (if you use canned herbs)

Cook: 2h 30 min

Total: 2h 40 min

 

Instructions:

Prepare the ingredients

If you’re using fresh herbs wash them, spread them onto several clean kitchen towels on a table so they can dry. Once completely dry finely chop them. Wash, dry, and finely chop the leeks as well.

Let the dried lemons soak in water.

Finely chop the onions and garlic. Wanna chop onions like a pro? Take a look at my video tutorial here.

Cut the meat into approx. 8 cm / 3” pieces.

Fry the meat and onions

Fry the meat chunks in 4 tbsp hot vegetable oil from each side until they are golden brown all around. Then transfer them into a large pan.

Gently fry the onions in the same oil at medium heat for about 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and fry them together for a few more minutes. Season with turmeric and black pepper.

Start cooking the stew

Add the onions to the pan with the meat. Season with salt and cover the meat with freshly boiled water. 

Remove the dried lemons that have been soaking from the water and add them to the stew. Put it on a low to medium heat with the lid on and let it simmer.

Fry the herbs

Now fry the herbs in the remaining vegetable oil. Make sure to stir them regularly so they don’t burn. You wanna achieve a dark green, almost black colour, without burning them. 

A common mistake with making Ghormeh Sabzi is that the herbs are not being fried long enough. Persian cooking is usually not so much about the nutrients, it’s about cooking the ingredients over a long period of time to achieve maximum flavour. Wether that’s good or bad it’s how you achieve the authentic taste.

Add the herbs and let your Ghormeh Sabzi simmer

Remove the lemons from the stew and add the fried herbs to it. Give it a quick stir and put the lid back on.

Once the lemons are cool enough to touch, cut them open and remove the seeds. This will prevent your Ghormeh Sabzi from tasting bitter. It’s another mistake I see people make. When the lemons are cooked soft and fall apart the seeds spread into the stew and when you get a bite with a lemon seed in it you get the bitter taste, spoiling your precious spoon full of Ghormeh Sabzi. Put the seedless lemons back into the pan and let it all simmer for at least another hour.

You know your Ghormeh Sabzi is ready when the meat is nice and tender, almost falling off the bone. When that’s the case add the drained kidney beans and give it a final stir. Serve it with delicious saffron rice and red onions, if you like. Enjoy!

Ghorme Sabzi by I got it from my Maman

I hope you found this recipe helpful! Let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments.

Wanna save it? You can print the recipe above or pin it for later!

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