Sabz, sabzeh, sabzi … it’s all Greek I mean Green to me!

Since we’re talking about the cuisine of a culture in a language unfamiliar to many of you – part of our goal in going onward is to provide a visual glossary of terms and items used in Persian cooking.

The sky is the limit as to where to start.  Where to start though?  Sticking to the green theme of the last post, it’s perhaps not a bad idea to stick with green.

Sabz is green in English Green is sabz in Farsi.  See what we did there?

Sabzeh is the lentil or wheat sprouted grass we use for Eideh Norooz on our sofreyeh haft seen.  Last seen (pun not intended?) in this post.

Sabzi refers to the fresh herbs used in cooking stew and rice:  Chives, parsley, chinese parsley or cilantro (geshniz), dill, fenegreek shanbalileh, tarkhoontaragon , mint, basil, green garlic. Widely used.  Mom says when she was in Iran she would go to the green grocer and  ask for sabziyeh khoreshi (herbs for stew) or sabziyeh poloye (tareh jaffari geshniz yek zareh chivid)  and the grocer himself knew what to give.

A specific combination of these herbs are used to make stew and the scented herbs like mint, basil, taragon, dill, etc are used to make polo rice.

Sabzi Khordan

raw herbs that are eaten with lunch or dinner – radish taragon mint basil and watercress (blllaghoti) green or spring onions  (piyazche) are used for sabzi khordan.

Batmanglij:  “Sabzi-khordan is an assortment of raw vegetables and fresh herbs.  It usually includes radishes, scallions and watercress with tarragon, min, chives and basil.  The vegetables and herbs are arranged on a platter with a piece of feta cheese.  …. No Persian table would be complete without nan-o-panir-o sabzi-khordan, quite simply bread and fresh feta cheese with raw vegetables and herbs.”


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