Restaurant: Arya Restaurant
City: Cupertino, CA

One awesome thing about having diversity in the workplace is the opportunity to try foods from a coworker’s ethnicity! One of my coworkers, Beeta, is Iranian American. She also has a YouTube channel, by the name of Stationary Bee, where she reviews various stationaries; check it out! Today, we got to try foods from Beeta’s roots!

ghormeh sabzi

Ghormeh sabzi – sautéed vegetables cooked with dried limes, beef, red kidney beans, and special seasonings, served with a side of basmati rice.

Here’s some info about the dish, from Wikipedia:

Ghormeh sabzi (Persian: قورمه سبزی‎,) is a Persian herb stew. It is a popular dish in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan and is often said to be the Iranian national dish.

Ghormeh means stewed and sabzi literally means greens that stands for herbs. The main ingredients are a mixture of sauteed herbs, consisting mainly of parsley, leeks or green onions, coriander, seasoned with the key spice of “shambalileh” (dried fenugreek) leaves. The herb mixture has many variations; any dark bitter green on hand can be used successfully (kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, etc., all work, although none are part of the original recipe). This mixture is cooked withkidney beans or black-eyed peas, yellow or red onions, black lime (pierced dried limu-Omani Persian lime), and turmeric-seasoned lamb or beef. In recent times, some people have replaced beans with potatoes, which is also not part of the original recipe. The dish is then served with polo (Persian rice) or over “tahdig” (bottom-of-the-pot, the crisp, caramelized layer of the twice-cooked rice).

The history of ghormeh sabzi goes back at least 500 to 1000 years.

Another note I want to add is — Until I met Beeta, I had been confused between Persia and Iran. If you were confused or wondering as well, here’s a good explaination, from Heritage Institute:

The names Iran and Persia are often used interchangeably to mean the same country. Iran is the legal name. Persia, was an ancient kingdom within Iran. Iran came to be known as Persia in the West thanks to classical Greek authors during whose time Persia was the dominant kingdom in Iran. To call all of Iran ‘Persia’, would be like calling all of Britain ‘England’.

Iran is a relatively modern contraction of the name Airyana Vaeja (the ancient homeland of the Airya or Aryans). Over time, Airyana Vaeja became Airan-Vej, then Eran-Vej or Airan-Vej (the Parthians and Sassanians had a slightly different pronunciation), then Eran or Airan, and finally Iran.