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.
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!
- Khoresh Bademjun – Persian Eggplant Stew (andreasgardencooking.com)
- Cuisine of Persia presented in grand style in Bellevue (seattletimes.com)