this week i tried to make a persian dish with one of my favorite vegetables: fennel. there is a persian traditional stew with tons of herbs and beens called ghormeh sabzi (herbs stew), and there's another one with celery and beef which has some similarities. i tried to use fennel instead of celery to give a different flavor. another key ingredient to this dish is dried lime( limoo amani) which you probably find in any persian, asian or even indian store. it has a different flavor than fresh lemon. i also cooked some wild rice combined with smoked basmati rice to serve the stew with. keep in mind that wild rice and brown basmati rice need a longer time to cook than white basmati rice. if you leave them in some water over the night, they get a bit softer and cook faster but still they need twice as much time than white rice. i rather cook them over an hour.
ingredients for the stew:
- two shallots
- one garlic
- one or two fennels (depending on how much you like fennel's flavor)
- one cup chopped cilantro
- four potatoes (optional)
- two teaspoons olive oil
- one pound beef or lamb stew meat
- one cup cannelloni beans
- two dried limes( limoo amani)
- one teaspoon saffron
- salt and pepper
cook the beans in two cups of water, salt and pepper separately for an hour. in the mean while chop and saute garlic and shallots in a dutch oven with olive oil. slowly add the meat in. chop the herbs and fennels and add them into the dutch oven and let them cook on medium for half hour while stirring them every five minutes. this is a typical persian dish smell: herbs. (i miss the smell of the ghormeh sabzi my mom makes.) add the dried limes, salt, pepper, saffron and six cups of water and bring it to boil. then leave it on low for an hour that all ingredients cook together. short before serving add the beans into the stew. serve with warm rice. nousheh jahn!