Qormeh sabzi

Qormeh sabzi

Qormeh Sabzi  is an Iranian herb stew. It is a very popular dish in Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan Republic. It is often said to be the Iranian national dish. The history of Qormeh Sabzi dates back at least 500 to 2,000 years.


Qormeh is the Persian word for “stew”, while Sabzi is the Persian word for herbs.


This mixture is cooked with kidney beansyellow split-peas or black-eyed peas, yellow or red onionsblack lime (pierced dried limu-Omani Persian lime), and turmeric-seasoned lamb or beef. The dish is then served with chelo (Persian parboiled and steamed rice) or over tahdig.

This khoresh is served with chelou or kateh, dami and sweet polou. It is very much favored for picnics, and is humorously titled say-yed-ul-qava-mire, meaning the master of all minced ones.

1pound shoulder, leg, or shanks of lamb or veal with bone

1medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ cup hot water

1 cup lemon juice

2 pounds equal parts of fresh green onion leaves, celery leaves, spinach, parsley, and fresh dill (if available)

1/3 cup any good oil

One of the following ingredients:

3 ounces dried red or small white beans or ½ pound chopped raw potatoes

(Serves 4 to 5)


Cut meat into large pieces and sauté it with the onion in the 2 tablespoons oil until browned. Add turmeric and pepper, the hot water, and lemon juice. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile wash and mince all vegetable leaves and, without adding water, cook them in the large frying pan over low heat, folding constantly until wilted and dry.

Add the 1/3 cup oil and mix and sauté about 5 minutes longer. Add vegetables to the simmering meat. If dried beans are to be used, they must be added now. Cover top partially and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes longer. If  potatoes are used, they should be sautéed slightly in a little oil and then added to the meat. Let simmer again, partially covered, until a rich gravy rises to the top.


Sour fruit such as unripe sour plums or dried limes may be added in place of the lemon juice.