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Ghormeh Sabzi

This famous Persian stew dates back 5000 years, with origins in Iran. Ghormeh was derived from Turkic kavurmak into Persian and meaning “braised,” while sabzi is the Persian word for herbs. Essentially, it is an herb stew, studded with kidney beans, featuring two very special ingredients: dried limes and fenugreek. 

Dried limes are a staple of Iranian cooking. They have been boiled in salt brine and left to dry until they’re rock hard, and lend a bright and tangy, acidic mustiness to any dish. They completely transform anything you add them to, and they’re really potent! One or two in a pot is all you’ll need to reap the flavour benefits. Find them in specialty / Middle Eastern grocers and online. 

Fenugreek is an annual plant in the Fabaceae family. It is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop, and people use its leaves and seeds in cooking. The leaves are a very common ingredient in Gormeh Sabzi, but I chose to use just the ground seed in my version, since it is much easier to source! Look for it at health food stores, natural grocers, and online. And if you love the bitter flavour that it brings, feel free to add more to this dish than written in the recipe.

I love this dish for Spring, since it is chock full of fresh greens, and because the sour flavour is important this time of year to support our liver and gallbladder. Feel free to play around with the ratio of herbs – if you have a particular affinity for one, use more, as desired. The dried limes are an essential ingredient here, but if you absolutely cannot find them, use sumac (another ingredient in the Spring Rollover Menu), or lime zest. The flavour will be less pungent and complex, but still delicious. 

Ghormeh Sabzi


  • 3 Tbsp. expeller-pressed coconut oil
  • 2 large yellow onions finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. fenugreek powder or more, as desired
  • 2 dried limes
  • 1 ½ cups / 125g spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 ½ cups spinach finely chopped
  • 1 cup / 35g parsley finely chopped
  • 1 cup / 40g cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups / 375ml vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ cups / 250g cooked kidney beans about 1 can


  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and sauté the chopped onions with the salt until just starting to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 2 minutes until fragrant, then add the ground turmeric and fenugreek. Stir well.
  • Add the dried limes punctured once or twice with a sharp knife (this helps release the flavour), prepared: spring onions, spinach, parsley, and cilantro to the pot. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a simmer, and cook on low for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Lastly, add the cooked kidney beans and simmer until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning to suit you. Say thank and enjoy with the Golden Carrot Spice Rice, roasted veggies, and whatever else you want from the menu!


Serves 6