A Quintessential Persian Stew
Shared by Ayala Hodak
Recipe Roots: Tehran, Iran > Holon, Israel > Tenafly, New Jersey
Ghormeh Sabzi is one of those dishes whose name says precisely what it is. Ghormeh in Farsi means stew and sabzi, herbs. The verdant stew is packed with greens, made hearty by the addition of meat and beans and brightened with aromatic black Persian lemons. While it’s wonderful year round, it’s perhaps best as winter’s chill starts to set in.
Growing up in Holon, Ayala Hodak’s mother Yafa (born: Maheen) Saadia made the stew on Friday nights and holidays. Her recipe, which uses beef and black eyed peas, is influenced by the two women who taught her to cook, Ayala explains. When she was very young, that was her mother, who lived in Tehran. And, when she was older, in Israel, it was her mother-in-law Dalia. (Read more about her story here).
“When she met my father and got married, there were things that she remembered,” from her mother’s cooking, Ayala explains. Spending time in the kitchen with Dalia “brought other memories,” and recipes, that Ayala grew up with. She brought this one with her when she moved to the United States almost 20 years ago and continues to make it on occasion for her family in New Jersey.