Qormeh Sabzi (Green Vegetable and Beef Stew)

This was one of the first Persian dishes I ever ate, and it was in Geneva, Switzerland when I first met the man who was to become my father-in-law.  What a wonderful dish and a great way to start my relationship with a wonderful man!  It is still one of my favorite Persian dishes, but it has to be made well; I have tasted some bad qormeh sabzi, but most of it has been a treat.  This version is adapted from Pamela Grau Twena’s The Sephardic Table.

It is a great dish for either the spring or fall, with leeks, scallions, and parsley as the stars. It can be made vegetarian by omitting the beef, and I have often eaten it that way.  But this is one of the few dishes in which I will actually use red meat (making my husband happy) since it is secondary to the rest of the dish, it is not the main focus of the meal.

Qormeh Sabzi

4 Tbsp canola oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped

1 pound stew beef, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (bite sized)

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/2 cups water

6 cups chopped fresh parsley (from the garden)

1 bunch leeks, chopped

2 to 3 scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp dried fenugreek (available in middle eastern markets)

4 dried limes (if you cannot get dried limes, you can use lemon zest)

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained.

1 tsp salt

1 dash lemon juice

Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute 5 minutes.  Add the beef and brown on all sides.

Add the water, pepper and turmeric.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary.

Meanwhile, heat the other Tbsp oil in a large skillet.  Saute the parsley, leeks scallions and fenugreek until wilted – approx 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.


When the meat is almost done, add the vegetables and dried limes.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour more, or until the meat is fully cooked and easy to break apart with a fork.  As the lies soften, poke holes in them with a fork to allow the liquid of the stew to enter.

About 10 minutes before the stew is done, add the kidney beans, salt and lemon juice.

Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Serves 4-6.


3 Comments Add yours

Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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