Gormay Sabsi

Nura’s recipe

Gormay sabsi is highly flavored with various herbs. I recommend only trying this dish with fresh greens.

Servings: About 4

Ingredients for gormay sabsi

1 lb. chuck steak

1 onion, chopped

1 can kidney beans, undrained

2 bunches parsley, minced

1 bunch green onions, minced

1 bag arugula or 1 bunch fenugreek, minced

5 T. oil

2 t. turmeric

1 Oman lime or 1/2 fresh lime (seeds removed)


Step 1: Over medium heat, stir-fry the green onions in 1 T. oil until almost dried. Remove them from the pan. 

Step 2: Add 3 T. oil to pan, heat, and stir-fry the parsley and fenugreek/arugula until almost dried. Remove from the pan. 

Step 3: Cut the meat into 1/2 inch cubes. Fry the meat and onion with the turmeric (salt to taste).

Step 4: Add 1 1/2 cups water, lime, and the fried herbs. Simmer for 1 hour. 

Step 5: Add the kidney beans with liquid. Cook 15 minutes. Add water if the koresh (stew) becomes too thick. (Alternatively, if you want it to be thicker, make a slurry: mix a few tablespoons of flour into about 1/2 c. water until smooth, then stir the slurry into the stew and cook a few minutes longer, stirring constantly to prevent clumping.)

Recipe © Nura Amerson 1991

Gormay sabsi on a plate garnished with yogurt
Gormay sabsi with yogurt

Layli’s Reflections

Gormay sabsi is among the signature dishes of Persian cuisine, and the savory flavor of the fried herbs, plus the tartness that is crucial to the Persian palate, show why. Now, to make a truly authentic gormay sabsi (a.k.a. ghormeh or qormeh sabzi), fenugreek would be needed. But I have never seen fenugreek in any form at a supermarket, so a bag of arugula will do the trick. (That definitely yields more than 1/3 cup when minced, but the more fresh herbs you can add, the greener—the more sabz—the stew will turn out.)

Speaking of herb preparation, when you have assembled your huge pile of herbs, you have two options: (1) spend an hour de-stemming them and mincing the leaves or (2) throw the whole pile into a food processor. Guess which option I chose? (I’m a fan of food-processing herbs because, well, I’m lazy, plus the whole herb, stem and all, can be used without affecting the resulting texture—so, less food waste!)

I served the stew over brown rice and topped with yogurt. It was a hit with all two diners at the Miron Bistro! Now let’s turn to the Chulhai Bistro…

Jasmine’s Reflections

Instead of the stew being composed primarily of herbs, it ended up with herbs just sprinkled throughout. Maybe it’s because I omitted fenugreek since I couldn’t find it at the grocery store. In any case, it wasn’t bad, just different. For “meat” I used Quorn meatless steak-style strips.

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