I love Gormeh Sabzi. It’s a Persian stew, and my favorite version of it is the one my dad makes. My dad is alive, knock on wood?, but he cannot speak or move because of a hemorrhagic stroke, so I have no way to really get the recipe from him directly. I meant to write down or get a copy of his recipe, but I didn’t, in time. And I think my siblings accidently misplaced it while cleaning out his office area.
At some point during the pandemic, I started ordering the dish as takeout from our local Persian restaurant. I found it delicious and wildly comforting.
And a few weeks ago, I got it in my head that I wanted to make it. I do not cook. David does all the cooking. I can fumble my way through cookie recipes, but that’s about it. I bought an Instant Pot as part of a Black Friday deal in 2020. I figured January 2022 was as good a time as any to open it and use it.
But then there was a food supply shortage a few weeks ago, and there was no fresh parsley or cilantro available at the grocery store. So I could not make it.
Then on Friday, we went to the grocery store, and the shelf was full of parsley and cilantro. The greens called to me like a Persian, cooking siren song. I bought them and green onions and two yellow onions and red beans. I did not buy meat, because I figured I could make it vegetarian. More on that later.
I read and watched the Instant Pot recipe post. I aspired to clean the greens on my own, but did not know what to do. So I went over to my parents’ house, and my mom helped me. During the cutting, she lectured me on how long cleaning fresh greens takes, and that you can only use fresh greens if you have absolutely nothing better to do, because it takes so much time. We put the greens through the Cuisinart, a cooking device that we received as a wedding gift in 2011, that I also used for first time yesterday. Then I went to pick up my daughter and bring her back to my mom’s house.
At some point, my mom asked my dad if it was okay I was making the Gormeh Sabzi without meat, and he said, “No, it has to have meat.” It’s the only sentence he has said to me in three months. My mom had some frozen beef she had recently prepared for another stew she had been planning to make, so she gave it to me.
This morning, cooking morning, I opened up the Instant Pot and read the setup manual, after watching a 3-minute YouTube video where three children set up an Instant Pot to demonstrate how ridiculously easy it is to set up. I started the process and after 15 minutes decided to not use the Instant Pot, because it’s actually not straightforward at all.
So then I turned to YouTube for non Instant Pot recipes for Gormeh Sabzi. I found two versions. I watched both of these videos and decided to use a mix of elements of both, using the ingredients from the Instant Pot recipe from my original vision.
One is Tara Radcliffe, who I had not heard of before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox_pfuDY-j8
The other was this woman I have also not heard of before, but her video was under 3 minutes long, which I liked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhymBWmR1G8
In case you are wondering what I look like, the second woman is what I would look like if I was trying to look like Tara. But instead of looking calm and cool in the kitchen, picture a consistent expression of panic and general confusion.
I ended up just putting all the ingredients into a giant pot. Then it smelled terrible. I called my mom, and she told me that was okay, and the smell would go away.
I was really upset I had messed up the dish, so I took out a jar of Nutella and just started eating it with a spoon.
The stew has been cooking for the last four hours. Hopefully it comes out okay. I have to ask David to make the Persian rice.