Slow Cooker Ghormeh Sabzi ~ Persian Herb Stew

by My Persian Kitchen on April 24, 2014

Let’s be honest here, cooking Persian food can be time consuming. When I lived in Iran with my grandmother, I remember during my days off from school, she used to disappear in the kitchen in the early morning. At lunch time she used emerge from the kitchen with a delicious and perfectly cooked Persian meal. It’s safe to say that Ghormeh Sabzi is one of the most loved Persian Stews, but is also true that it is probably one of the most time consuming recipes because of the amount of herbs that are used.

In recent months I have been experimenting more and more with ways in which I can expedite Persian recipes. Today’s recipe is an example of how modern gadgets can help having a delicious recipe ready when you come home at the end of the day. As I have said before in my first slow cooker recipe, I am a fan of using slow cookers. With that said, I think that it’s important to do some prep work before loading the ingredients in the slow cooker. I have found that when it comes to meat, it’s pretty important to give it a quick sauté before adding it to the pot. The difference in taste is very noticeable.

For this recipe you can get everything ready the night before and load all ingredients in the morning before leaving your home. Alternatively, on a day off you can sauté everything in the morning, which takes about 30 minutes and then let the slow cooker do its thing. Regardless of when you choose to do the cooking, I suggest having the herbs cleaned and ready to go. A good way to save time when it comes to herbs is to follow the suggestion from my Frozen Persian Herbs post.

Now onto this recipe. The first time I made this recipe in the slow cooker I simply followed my original recipe for Ghormeh Sabzi. By the time it was all done, while the taste was good, the amount of water was way too much. So I made a few adjustment to the ingredients and amount of water and did a couple of test runs. I am happy to say that I am pretty happy with the results!

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)

1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp turmeric
1 lb stewing meat
4 dried Persian limes
1/3 cup kidney beans, dried – soaked over night
2 cups leeks, chopped
5 cups fresh parsley, packed
3 cups fresh cilantro,packed
1 cup fresh feenigreek
1 cups fresh chives
salt & pepper

Small dice onion and mince garlic. Sauté in oil until translucent.  Add turmeric and stir well.

Cut meat in cubes and add to onion.  Season with salt and pepper and allow to brown on all sides.

Place meat in the slow cooker’s pot.

Add soaked beans. Make a couple of holes in dried limes with a fork, then add to the pot.

Add some oil to the same pot that the meat and onion was cooked in and sauté leeks for a couple of minutes. I highly suggest not skipping the herb sautéing part.

Chop all the herbs and add to the leeks. Season with salt and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add herbs to the pot.

Add two cups of water to the pot where the herbs were sautéd in and scrape the bottom of the pot.

Add the water to the slow cooker pot, cover and cook on high for 8 hours. Adjust seasoning as needed before serving.

Before leaving in the morning I loaded both my slow cooker and rice cooker. When I came home each time I made this recipe, our house smelled divine and it was such a wonderful welcoming feeling. I turned on my rice cooker and within a half an hour we had a fantastic meal ready!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Shabnam April 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

Can you share your brand of rice cooker? I have one, and it’s ok but the tahdig isn’t the best. (or maybe user error) :)


Shabnam April 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

(And I can’t wait to try the recipe!)

Monica April 24, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. This will make my life sooo easy. As you said it takes a long time to cook any persian stew. God bless you for sharing such great recipes with us. I love them all. Keep em coming :)

Jenny April 24, 2014 at 4:18 pm

I adore this dish and cannot wait to try your crock pot version! Love your website and blog. Thanks for inspiring me!

My Persian Kitchen April 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Shab, my rice cooker’s brand is Royal Cook. Reading this post that I wrote might help

Jerusha April 30, 2014 at 7:23 am

Thank you so much for sharing your crockpot recipe for Ghormeh Sabzi! I’m making it now and my kitchen is already beginning to smell like my mother’s did when I was a child. :) I do have one question though – what type of crock pot do you use? Mine is a Rival and it seems to be cooking the khoresht very quickly – wondering if I really need it on high for 8 hours? Thanks for any advice you can offer!

My Persian Kitchen May 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Jerusha, I choose high on mine to be sure that the beans cook. If you feel that your crock pot cooks too fast on high you can switch to low. I have found that not all crock pot work in the same manner.

Suzie Lind May 20, 2014 at 11:34 am

Do you chop your herbs by hand or do you use a food processor? I normally buy the frozen herbs, but after reading your post you are convincing me to go back to manually doing it. Also, how many cups would you say one bunch of herbs yields? I buy at Hawthorne Market. Thanks :)

samane May 22, 2014 at 7:28 am

سلام عزيزم
سايت بسيار بسيار خوبي داري.
دوست دارم يه عالمه

Sepideh May 25, 2014 at 8:37 am

I can’t find fresh feenigreek (well, I can but the store is far and out of my way). Is it ok to use dried feenigreek? And if so, how much? Thanks & I love your site. I’m so glad I found it. I’ll be trying to make many dishes from this site.
– Sepi

My Persian Kitchen May 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

Sepideh, you can use dried fenugreek. I recommend using 1/4 of the fresh amount.

My Persian Kitchen May 31, 2014 at 11:05 am

Suzie, I usually hand chop my herbs. Depending on a bunch of herbs, you can get anywhere from 2 cups to 3 cups of leaves.

gautami kor June 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm

chop herbs is difficult task for me.but by the way your recipe looks great.i love this type of recipe which make me healthy.

Erika July 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

Hi, this seems like a good persian recipy without anything added thanks I will try this! but maybe I have to buy a slow cooker first it seems the easiest and will taste the better. I found one with 230 Watt (centurion is the brand)how much does your have and what brand? I guess I would know if I need more or less time then 8 hours to have it on then..:)

Sepideh July 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm

The Ghormeh Sabzi was a HUGE hit at home. *Thank you!* As I was cooking I did send positive energy your way and thinking of happiness & success for you as way of appreciating your site and wonderful recipes.

It seems, I’ll have to double the recipe for my household (my husband and son finished it all in one sitting so there wasn’t any left for leftovers). When I double it the next time, I’ll be keeping the meat the same amount in the recipe. Do you think that would work? We are not big meat eaters, a few meat cubes works for us – I added it for the flavor.
Anything I should watch out for when doubling the recipe?

Thanks again,

My Persian Kitchen August 6, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Sepideh, glad to hear that the recipe is a hit. No, double away!

Roya October 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Thank you

Dennis October 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

Do you remove the dried lemons afterwards or you just smash them trough the meal?

My Persian Kitchen October 11, 2014 at 11:33 am

Dennis, I leave them in there. You can actually eat them minus the seeds!

dennis October 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

Thank you, i just finished some Ghormeh Sabzi :)

maral saedi (wanie) October 18, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Oh my malaysian..i realy realy realy like ghorme sabzi..kheli dust daram..khosmazeh..superb delicious..thanx for the recipe..jus in malaysia difficult for js to find the sabzi..

Giorgio October 25, 2014 at 8:40 am

Thanks for the recipe. It was great but I could never match my moms one. Greetings from an Italianpersian

SarAshpazBashi October 28, 2014 at 8:25 am

Love, Love, LOVE Ghorme Sabzi :)

Clara November 10, 2014 at 10:58 am

Hi there
I have seen a variation of this recipe with garbanzo beans (chick peas) and chicken. What is the difference? Is there a difference? Are both authentic?

Also for a normal recipe, I was recommended not to put the limes in until 30 minutes before the stew is done. Does leaving it in for the whole time change the flavor?

My Persian Kitchen November 11, 2014 at 7:49 am

Clara, I have never seen this stew made with Chickpeas. If you don’t eat red meat, it can be made with chicken. Perhaps what you may be referring to here is a Northern Iranian stew that is called Morgh-eh Torsh, Sour Chicken, which can look somewhat similar. I personally have never heard about adding the lemons in the last 30 minutes. To the best of my knowledge they are always added at the beginning as they help deepen the flavors of the dish.

Jen November 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

Im making this dish for my boyfriend who is Persian, or atleast I want to. However, I dont know where to find some of the ingredients? Like feenigreek and dried limes… Are these normally available at a chain food store (like Waldbaums?) or do I have to find a specialty store? I really want to make this for him!
Thanks for such a simple recipe :)


My Persian Kitchen November 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Jen, you can find the ingredients at Persian stores or if there aren’t any around you there are online companies to order them from.

Sofia November 19, 2014 at 9:02 am

Thanks for the recipe!

I have a question – what is the flavour of fenugreek supposed to be like? I found some (labelled “methi”) but I find that it is not at all aromatic and just tastes a little bit bitter. Is it supposed to develop a flavour when it cooks? Or is it used for its health benefits?

I’m sure chopping the herbs by hand yields a better result, but I just wash and add all my herbs to a giant pot (while still wet) and let them steam. Once they’re wilted and cooled, I throw them all in the food processor and make an herb paste that I then add to the stew. Saves some time! That’s a lot of herbs to chop :)

My Persian Kitchen November 19, 2014 at 10:03 am

Sofia, it’s difficult to describe the flavor of fenugreek. It is definitely strong is is one of the herbs that really makes this stew!

Patricia November 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Hello. I see that you didn’t list dill or spinach. Is that a preference or was it forgotten?

My Persian Kitchen November 21, 2014 at 9:39 am

Patricia, there are a variety of combinations when it comes to what makes Ghormeh Sabzi green. I have never heard of dill in it before, but certainly have heard of spinach it.

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