Global Recipes

Seed Programs International

Ghormeh Sabzi

Roughly translated as “herb stew,” ghormeh sabzi is a popular dish in Iran. An unofficial holiday dish, Iranian expats declared the last Saturday of each November as International Ghormeh Sabzi Day.

Our recipe calls for spinach, but any dark bitter green is suitable for this dish. While the traditional preparation includes beef or lamb, these can be omitted or substituted with fried tofu, tempeh, seitan, or more beans for a meatless dish. Some chefs also recommend mushrooms for their texture and flavor.

Gratitude to Parvane Ghelich for sharing the original recipe.


  • 2 pounds boneless lamb or beef roast, or protein of choice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 dried limes or 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup kidney bean (canned is fine)
  • 1 large potato, diced (optional)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup garlic chives, finely chopped (tareh)
  • 1/4 cup fenugreek leaves, finely chopped (also called shanbelileh) (optional)


  1. Trim meat and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. For other proteins, reduce the amount of water by half and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Fry onion over medium heat in half of the oil until golden.
  3. Add turmeric and fry for 2 more minutes.
  4. Increase heat, add meat cubes and stir over high heat until meat changes color and begins to turn brown.
  5. Reduce heat.
  6. Add water, drained kidney beans, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cover and simmer gently for about an hour or until meat is tender.
  8. Fry potatoes over high heat in the remaining oil until lightly browned.
  9. Add to sauce, leaving oil in the pan.
  10. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Add prepared vegetables to frying pan and fry over medium heat until wilted.
  12. Add to sauce, then add dried limes (or lime juice), cover and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  13. Adjust seasoning and serve with white rice.



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Seed Programs International (SPI)

Seed Programs InternationalSeed Programs International (SPI) is a non-profit, tax exempt, non-governmental humanitarian organization.

We work thorough other humanitarian organizations, church groups, service clubs and individual donors, to provide quality seed to impoverished communities in developing countries enabling them to grow some of their own food. In addition to seed, SPI provides critical seed expertise and experience operating seed based self help programs.”

SPI is operated by individuals with over 50 years seed industry experience plus over 20 years experience in vegetable research and production. We also have 15 years experience operating programs that have successfully shipped seed to over 70 countries on five continents. SPI has shipped enough seed to plant over 1,000,000 vegetable gardens, providing more than 20 kinds of vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals often missing in people’s diets.