Iranian Lamb and Herb Stew – Ghormeh-e Sabzi

One of the most popular dishes for Iranians is the Iranian Lamb and Herb Stew, which they call Ghormeh-e Sabzi. This dish is a splendid testimony to the Persian love of herbs and fragrance, and is a harmonious melange of texture and flavor. For an equally fulfilling vegetarian option, double the kidney bean portion to make up for the absent lamb. When the Persians were invading the lands of Israel, they brought also this dish to the people. When they finally left, they left behind the recipe. Today you can eat this in Iranian restaurants.

Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi

It takes about 3 hours to make this dish and of course, it has its many customizations, as you can see on the images and all of them taste wonderful thanks to the herbs and fragrance of this dish.


  • 115g/4oz/heaped ½ cup dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of chives, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of fenugreek leaves or 1 tbsp dried fenugreek
  • 1 handful finely chopped dill leaves, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 handfuls of parsley leaves
  • 2 handfuls of coriander/cilantro leaves
  • 400g/14oz boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2cm/¾in cubes
  • 4 whole dried black limes (limu amani), pierced with the tip of a knife (optional)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chelow Rice, to serve
  • Greek yogurt, to serve

    Ghormeh-e Sabzi
    Ghormeh-e Sabzi

  1. Put the red kidney beans in a deep, heavy-based saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil over a medium heat and continue to boil for 10–15 minutes, until the beans are tender but with a slight bite to them. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and leek and fry for 5 minutes until soft and golden.
  5. Add all the herbs and stir well, then cook for 10 minutes until fragrant, stirring often.
  6. Increase the heat to high, add the lamb and stir well to coat with the onion and leeks, then cook for about 2 minutes until the meat is browned on all sides.
  7. Add the drained kidney beans to the pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to low, then cover with a lid and simmer for 1½–2 hours, or until the beans are soft, the meat is tender and the sauce reduced and well blended.
  9. When the stew has been simmering for about an hour, add the dried limes, if using (any sooner and they will turn the stew bitter), pushing them down into the liquid.
  10. They will tend to pop back up, so try to cover them with a few pieces of meat to keep them submerged.
  11. Just before serving, season the dish with lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
  12. Serve with the Chelow Rice and yogurt.
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi
Ghormeh-e Sabzi - Vegetarian
Ghormeh-e Sabzi – Vegetarian
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