On Monday evening, I had some of my best friends, Erik and Chelsie, over for dinner at my house. One thing that we’ve always had in common is a love of food and trying out new recipes that involve lots of different flavors and variety. They’re usually the ones that make food for all of us over at their house, and it’s always delicious! They’ve always been eager in the past to introduce me to dishes that they’ve made, and in turn, it’s inspired me to start exploring cooking a bit more on my own. Being that I’m half Iranian, I’ve grown up watching my mother make many dishes such as this, most of which she was taught by my grandmother, while she was living in Iran back in the 1980’s with my father. For this particular evening with my friends, I decided to make this dish, being that it’s currently the middle of winter. I was in the mood to make something hearty, warm, and delicious. If you’re new to trying Persian Food, this is a nice dish to start with– Lots of yummy flavors, and it’s a crowd pleaser. I personally love it best served over some Saffron Rice, or plain is just as good. It just soaks up all the juices and makes the experience that much better. Hope you enjoy!

Note: Lamb, beef or poultry stews combined with vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices, are called khoresh in Farsi and are among the most loved of Persian dishes.


Serves 4

3 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound lean stewing beef or lamb, cubed
1 tablespoon chopped fenugreek leaf
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups water
1 ounce fresh parsley, chopped
1 ounce fresh chives, chopped
15-ounce can red kidney beans
juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
rice, to serve

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and fry the onion for about 3-4 minutes until light golden. Add the beef and fry for another 5-10 minutes until browned, stirring so that the meat browns on all sides.

2. Add the fenugreek, turmeric and cinnamon and cook for about 1 minute, stirring, then add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan and fry the parsley and chives over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Drain the kidney beans and stir them into the beef with the herbs and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the stew for another 30-35 minutes, until the meat is tender. Serve on a bed of rice.