This is a perfect example of a simple and humble vegetarian Caspian Sea regional dish. Large amounts of parsley, cilantro, mint, spinach and green onions are finely chopped and patiently cooked to develop a rich herbal flavor. What makes this dish characteristically northern is the addition of a sour element, and here I have used fresh lemon juice.
All over Iran, many stews feature fresh herbs in the place of other vegetables to accompany either animal or plant-based proteins. While each stew has its own unique combinations and ratios, they all have one thing in common: Iranians’ celebration and love of herbs.
Brilliant and colorful slices of carrots add a beautiful contrast in color and texture. This traditional dish is typically served with fried eggs or pieces of white fish on top along with steamed basmati rice.
- 3 bunches parsley, finely chopped
- 3 bunches cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 bunch mint, finely chopped
- 2 bunces spinach, finely chopped
- 2 bunches green onions, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
- 2 cups hot water
- 5 medium sized carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1-2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, adjust as necessary
- Wash and remove the thicker ends of the parsley, cilantro, and mint stems and layout on a towel, and pat dry.
- Gradually add the herbs, green onions, spinach, and pulse until you have a fine chop in a food processor. Remove the herbs and set aside.
- In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion for 10 minutes until the onions are golden brown.
- Add turmeric and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil and all the finely chopped herbs to the pot. Over medium-high heat, while stirring constantly, saute the herbs for 15-20 minutes. The herbs will first have to get dried out before beginning to saute, so patience is a good virtue here!
- Once the greens have been sauteed adequately and begin to lightly brown, pour in hot water and stir.
- Cover and bring to a gentle boil before reducing the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the sliced carrots, salt, pepper, lemon juice and mix well. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve with fried eggs and steamed basmati rice.