Khoresh Saak – Lemon herb sauce with carrots and fried eggs

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.


Khoresh Saak

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Caspian Sea tangy lemony herb sauce with carrots and fried eggs
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Iranian, Persian
Servings 4 people


  • 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.
Keyword chicken, herbs, lemon, stew, vegetarian, whole30
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