I remember the first time I made this I was 18 and had just moved into my own house. My Dad had gifted me a pressure cooker for my birthday and I decided to try to make Ghormeh Sabzi.
I didn’t know how to use a pressure cooker and I managed to take the lid of before the pressure had released….
It exploded! Literally hit the ceiling removing the vile artex and showering the entire kitchen, my dog Phoebe & me with a bright green sauce! It looked like Popeye had been through the kitchen in a tornado of spinach!
Thank fully over the years I have worked out how to use one and it hasn’t happened since.
There are literally hundreds of different versions of this out there, however my dad’s version is still my favourite. I have adapted his recipe a tad (I hope he will approve as I will be cooking it for him in a few weeks when he comes to stay!)
So what is Ghormeh Sabzi?
If you ask any Persian they will tell you that Ghormeh Sabzi is the most popular of herb stews and is akin to an English roast dinner in its significance. It is full of fresh herbs and can be made with either lamb or chicken. It is unlike any other dish/stew or tagine I have ever tasted. It is fresh with sharpness and warmth at the same time.
In my version, instead of using lamb chunks I prefer to use whole lamb shanks as the bones add to the flavour of the whole dish. I always cook this at least 24 hours ahead of eating and if possible 48 hours as it tastes so much better when the flavours have had the chance to mature.
If you have never tried it, have a go at making it. It really is worth the effort and with all the spinach in it it’s great for you too!
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My Daddy’s Ghormeh Sabzi
450gm Lamb shanks or diced lamb. I use shanks and slice the meat after, leaving the bones in for flavour. (My dad and uncle eat the marrow out of the bones which still to this day makes me feel queasy)
3 medium white onions diced
3 dried omani limes pierced
3 big handfulls of chopped or dry sabzi (parsley, leek, coriander and fenugreek)
1 x half a bag of washed fresh spinach finely sliced
1 garlic clove
1 glug of olive oil
1 tablespoon of turmeric
generous pinch of salt and pepper
2 x tins of kidney beans
Fry the onions and garlic until clear
Add the turmeric and fry off for a few minutes stirring continuously to get rid of the bitterness before adding the meat
Add the beef and fry gently until browned then add the chopped fresh spinach and fry off for 5 minutes stirring the whole while
Add the sabzi and lime and continue to stir
When it is all fried off and you can start to smell the herbs cooking add in the water up to a 3rd of the pan
If using a pressure cooker cook on full until the pressure hits and it starts to hiss then low for 30 minutes. If using a pan cook slowly for 2 hours then add in the kidney beans. Leave overnight and re heat the following day if possible. Serve with ‘Polo ba tadig’ (recipe on my blog) and salad. Nooshe Jaan!