Ghormeh Sabzi (Kidney Bean & Beef Stew)

Serves 4-6

| Prep Time: 10 mins

| Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins

| Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Almost every culture has a "national dish" that describes and may even define a culinary identity. In Iran, that dish is called Ghormeh Sabzi (GOR-ma SAB-zee). Roughly translating to "Fried Herbs" from Farsi, Ghormeh Sabzi (Kidney Bean & Beef Stew) is a dish that nearly every Persian grandmother has a recipe to make. Think of it as the ultimate comfort food, one that fills the home with delightful aromas and reminds us of family, like a Sunday roast.

A key ingredient in this dish is the specialty spice known as Dried Persian Lime. Often made from lemons or small limes that are boiled in salt water and dried until rock hard, dried Persian lime smells like a bolt of citrusy lightning when crushed or ground. They imbue the stew with a more complex flavor than lemon or lime alone and are a staple of Persian cooking. While immensely popular in the Middle East, dried Persian lime is not yet mainstream in North America except with serious spice hunters and in-the-know chefs (and Piquant Post subscribers!). If you're not quite up to making this stew, you can use dried limes in myriad other recipes such as braises, soups, or even in rice and lentil dishes. If you put them in your spice grinder, the resulting powder is a great finishing accent to roasted fish or veggies, soups, or seafood pasta dishes. Experiment and share the results with us!


  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped into 1/2" rounds

  • 2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves (~2 bunches)

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (~1 bunch)

  • 1 shallot, diced

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive (or vegetable) oil, divided

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 lb beef (stew or rib cuts), cut into 2" cubes

  • 1 tbsp Piquant Post Persian Delight blend

  • 4 cups water, divided

  • 1 tsp Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 yellow onion, cut into halves

  • 2 tbsp Piquant Post Dried Persian Limes

  • 1 can (14.5 oz) kidney (or pinto) beans, drained

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, quartered (optional)

  • 2-3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped for garnish (optional)


An easy way to wash a lot of herbs at once is to fill a large mixing bowl with water. Then, soak the herbs and gently agitate to loosen any debris. Remove the herbs, then use a paper towel to pat and absorb the bulk of the water from the herbs.

To save a little time, stage your prep work so that you can chop while cooking: start by dicing the shallots so that they fry first. Then, you can finish chopping the herbs while shallots cook.

This recipe makes a family sized batch. This stew is great for meal prepping and can easily be frozen in portions for future use.

This Ghormeh Sabzi (Kidney Bean & Beef Stew) recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. For max flavor, you'll want to sauté the shallot / herb mixture and brown the meat before adding to the slow cooker.

The caramelized shallots used in this recipe are a common ingredient in many Persian dishes. As a timesaver, you can make a large batch and freeze leftovers for quick use in future meals.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.


Wash and prep the scallions, parsley, cilantro, and shallot. Remove any tough stems from the herbs, then finely chop. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan on Med and add 2 tbsp of oil. Cook the shallots for 5-6 mins then add the chopped herbs and scallions. Cook for 2 mins. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 more mins. Remove mixture from heat and set aside.

Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on Med-High. Add 1 tbsp of oil to pot. Then add beef, Persian Delight spice, and salt & pepper. Cook the meat for 6-8 mins, stirring to brown all sides. Add the onion halves, Piquant Post Dried Persian Lime, and 3 cups of water. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to Med. Let simmer for ~1 hour.

Reduce the heat to Med-Low and discard onion halves. Then add 1 cup of water to pot along with herb/ tomato/shallot mixture, beans, and tomato quarters. Stir into pot. Cover and simmer for 15-20 more mins, stirring occasionally.

Remove pot from heat. Ladle stew in bowls and garnish with any extra herbs. Serve with steamed rice or crusty bread.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Make sure you also try making our authentic Persian-style Spinach Dip with Walnuts and pomegranate recipe (Borani Esfenaj) with the Persian Delight spice blend!

  • You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting sliced portobello or cremini mushrooms in place of the beef and using a vegetable / mushroom broth. Also, add other vegetables like potatoes cubes and sliced carrots to make a heartier meal.

  • Try using the Persian Delight blend to make our delicious, authentic (and vegan) Persian Eggplant and Tomato Stew (Khoresh Bademjan).

  • We think Persian Dried Lime is the ultimate exotic spice to have on hand. You can use it in any of your favorite stew, soups, or casserole recipes for an exotic twist. Or, throw it in your spice grinder and dust the powder on everything from roasted veggies to fish as a citrus-bomb finishing spice.

  • Try using Dried Persian lime to make this authentic Lamb Chickpea Soup (Abgoosht). Here's a vegan Abgoosht recipe. Use 2 tbsp ground dried Persian lime in the recipes.

  • Try making our spiced Persian Meatballs (Koofteh Tabrizi) for an authentic Middle Eastern comfort food.

  • Another easy weeknight alternative to the stew is making a baked turmeric lemon salmon. Simply sprinkle the Persian Delight spice on one side of the salmon and sprinkle (or grind) Persian Dried Lime on each piece as well. Bake 2-4 filets for 20-22 mins at 400 deg. Garnish with lemon wedges. Voilà!

  • Don’t forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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