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Khoreshe Ghormeh Sabzi - Herbs & Meat Stew

1 pound to 1.5 stewing beef or lamb -- cut into 1 " cubes
1 large onion -- finely chopped
2 cups parsley -- finely chopped
1 cup tareh -- (garlic chives), finely chopped*
1/2 cup shanbelileh -- (fenugreek), finely chopped
3/4 cup red kidney beans
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 dried to 3 lemons OR
1/4 cup lemon juice
Cooking oil
1 cup water

* in case you can't find chives, you can substitute spring onions

1. Fry the herbs (parsley, tareh, and shanbelileh) in about 2 Tbsp. of oil over med/high heat for about 10 - 15 minutes. They should change color but they should not be very dark. Set aside.

2. Fry the onions in about 2 Tbsp. of oil over med/high heat till they are lightly golden. Add the meat, raise the heat to high and keep frying till all the juices are absorbed.

3. When the juices are absorbed, add the spices (salt, black pepper, and turmeric) and fry for a minute or two (don't over fry), and then add the fried herbs and red kidney beans. Add 1/2 - 1 cup of water and bring to boil. The amount of water depends on the rest of the ingredients. You want enough water to almost cover every thing, but it should still be thick!

4. Crack the dried lemons into small pieces (or powder it in a spice mill) and add to the stew. Dried lemons can be found in middle eastern or indian grocery stores. Use all of the dried lemon except may be the seeds if you have the patience to remove them. Of course lemon juice can be substituted but it won't taste the same!

5. Cover and reduce heat to low/med and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours till the meat and beans are cooked to your satisfaction. If the liquid is too thin, cook uncovered.

6. Serve over hot basmatti rice.

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