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Khoresh-e Ghormeh Sabzi

Gourmet (Ghormeh) Stew Camping

herb stew served
For our camping trip this July, we made this stew – in order to use all the beautiful green herbs growing in the herb bed just outside the back door. After a long, slow (but simple) cooking time, we removed the dried limes, then cooled the stew. To prepare it for camping, we and froze in two containers so that it could fit deep in the cooler, act as a block of ice, and would last until the third day out. Steuart planned to make a quick bread of flour and yogurt to be fried on the camp store while we heated up the stew. A perfect meal.

Khoresh-e Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb, Bean and Lamb Stew)

  • 1 pounds lamb shoulder (or beef chuck) trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •   1/3 cup dried borlotti beans
  •   5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2/3
  • 1 large bunch of Italian parsley , chopped
  •   1 large bunch of fresh cilantro , chopped
  • 2 bunches chives, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, roots trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek (or substitute celery leaves) leaves
  •   3 Omani (dried Persian) limes, rinsed and punctured multiple times with a fork
  • ¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads


  • MEAT: lamb, beef or veal. A bone in meat is more flavorful.
  • HERBS: Shabzi means herbs, so this dish requires parsley, cilantro, chives, fenugreek and green onions. These are sauté or roasted and chopped fine for this is a green stew Ghormeh sabzi is the slow roasting of herbs including Fenugreek, and like most recipes that use this herb, the dish tastes even better the next day. In Persian, Fenugreek is known as Shanbalileh. Literally Ghormeh sabzi means herb fricassee, and the Khormesh is Persian for stew.
  • BEANS: We heard that kidney beans were correct to use, but instead used a red Borlatti.
  • DRIED LIMES: This make the taste of ghormeh sabzi. You can find these at our Persian store on Parker Road and Illiff Avenue. I have used a whole lime but and was a great taste.
    • Dried limes are pierced and added to the stew, gently releasing the juices and aroma while simmering.

When this stew was made again in September 2002, the meat was cooked separately rolled in tumeric first, then roasted in a very low oven until incredibly tender. The broth was separated from the meat so that it could be added when the stew was warmed for serving. Fresh vegetables topped the stew adding color to a stew that gets homogeneously green through cooking. Wonderful for flavor, but drab when presented in the bright light of our dining room — not so obvious after sunset at the campsite.

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