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5 from 3 votes

Persian Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh Sabzi is an aromatic meat stew stuffed with flavorful green herbs. It is so popular in Iran it even has its own unofficial holiday. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Iran
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6
Calories 403kcal



  • 4 bunches parsley
  • 2 bunches chives whites removed
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • ½ cup olive oil divided
  • 1-2 tbsp dried fenugreek
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 lb beef stew meat rinsed to remove all of the blood
  • 1 tsp black pepper (Use code FF20 for 20% off)
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 dried limes with holes poked in them
  • 2 15 oz red kidney beans drained and rinsed


  • Chop your bunches of fresh parsley, chives and cilantro herbs (or use a food processor) until they are in very fine pieces. You may have to go in batches if your food processor is very small.
  • Add ¼ cup olive oil to a large frying pan and then add the herbs to the pan along with the 1-2 tbsp fenugreek. Fry for about 5-8 minutes on a medium temperature until the herbs turn darker. Remove the herbs from the pan.
  • In a large pot add ¼ cup olive oil and then the chopped yellow onion. Cook until your onions begin to brown.
  • Add two pounds beef into the pot and stir until the outside of the meat is browned. While it’s browning, add the 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tbsp turmeric, and 2 tsp salt. Mix to combine.
  • Then add the herbs into the pot. Mix to combine, then add 4-6 cups of water into the pot. Bring it to a boil.
  • Add the 5 dried limes into the pot and allow the stew to boil for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 1.5 hours at a minimum, but up to 3 hours.
  • Add the 30 oz red kidney beans to the stew and mix it in.
  • Serve with basmati rice with saffron and enjoy!


Recipe Copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.
  • Researched using Cooking with Yousef and At Home with Tara.  
  • Herbs: The mixture of sauteed herbs are the main ingredient of this stew and of Iranian cuisine in general. The cooked herbs provide not only a strong kick of flavor but they are packed with nutrients too. Allowing the herbs to saute slowly is a very important step. You do not want to burn them but you also don’t want them undercooked.
  • Meat: What would a stew be without hearty meat? You can use beef stew meat or lamb chunks. I used beef stew meat in this recipe.
  • Dried Limes: This stew features the tanginess of Limu Omani, also known as dried Persian limes, black lime, or loomi. It would not be the same without this flavor addition. Limu Omani is a seedless lime that has been soaked in brine and then dried out. The color of the limes may vary but they are usually black or brown. Poke a small hole in the lime before tossing it into the stew to allow more flavor, sourness, and a little acidity to be released as it cooks. You can usually find dried limes in a bag near other dried spices in a Middle Eastern store. It can even be purchased online. If you’re really in a pinch you could use fresh lime juice or fresh lemon juice but the full flavor is not the same.
  • Fenugreek: You can use fresh or dried fenugreek. If using fresh, grind it up with the rest of the herbs. Fresh fenugreek can be hard to find in the United States, so you can also purchase it dried (bought online here).
  • Red Kidney Beans: I am using canned kidney beans for ease of preparation, but most recipes call for using dried red kidney beans. In this case, soak the kidney beans overnight and cook them in the stew alongside the meat.
  • Don’t try to rush through preparing this stew. As the herbs are cooked down in the beginning their flavor is concentrated. If you try to use the herbs without cooking them down your stew may end up watery.
  • The longer the stew simmers, the more the flavors combine. When ready, the meat should be perfectly tender.
  • If your stew looks watery, let it simmer uncovered for the last 30 minutes or so of cooking. It should be a thick stew with a deep, dark green color.
  • Too much fenugreek can turn your stew bitter, so make sure to follow the recommended ingredient portion.
  • Pre-rinse your red meat to remove the blood for best results
  • Depending on what part of Iran this dish is made in, you can also choose to replace the Red Kidney Beans with pinto beans or black eyed peas


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 884mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3441IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 7mg