Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fresh Herb Stew (Khoresh-e Qormeh Sabzi)

2 large onions, peels and thinly sliced
2 pounds lamb shanks or 1½ pounds deboned leg of lamb, cut in 2-inch pieces
½ cup vegetable oil
1½ teaspoons salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
4 cups water or light stock (chicken or vegetable)
½ cup dried kidney beans or other red beans, soaked in water overnight
4 whole dried Persian limes, pierced with a knife. See photo below.
4 cups finely chopped parsley, about 4 bunches, thick stems removed
1 cup finely chopped chives or scallions, about 1 bunch scallions
1 cup finely chopped cilantro, about 1 bunch, thick stems removed
1 cup chopped fenugreek leaves or ¼ cup dried
Note: Available from purveyors of Indian foodstuffs under the name of Kasoori Methi. See photo below.
2 tablespoons dried Persian lime powder
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (my preference), 1-2 limes

1. Using a food processor, coarsely chop the parsley, scallions, and cilantro. Of course you can do it by hand if you prefer.
2. In a Dutch oven or a large pot, brown the onions with the lamb in 3 tablespoons oil. Add salt, pepper, and turmeric. Pour in the water or stock. Drain the soaked beans. Add them and the whole dried Persian limes. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.

3. In a frying pan, sauté the mountain of chopped parsley, chives or scallions, cilantro, and fenugreek in the remaining oil over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until they grow limp and wilted.
4. Add the sautéed herbs and the lime powder or juice to the pot. Cover and simmer for another 30-45 minutes or until the meat is tender and the beans are nicely soft but not mushy.
5. Taste the stew for seasonings and adjust as needed. Place in a warm oven until you’re ready to serve.
6. Serve with plain rice or with Persian flat bread. It is nice have some Cucumbers with Yogurt and Mint with some added garlic.

Serves 6
Adapted from Najmieh Batmanglif’s New Food of Life

Persian dried limes

Fenugreek leaves

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