Growing Sabzeh (sprouting seeds) for Norooz or Easter | DIY

“Every blade of grass is a study; and to produce two, where there was but one, is both a profit and a pleasure.” Abraham Lincoln – September 30, 1859 – Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society

Seeds garden toy shovels DIY how ot grow sabzeh for norooz pictorial guide | photo by Fig & Quince (Persian food culture blog)

Grow green! No soil required. Just seeds!

If haft seen is the cornerstone of Norooz (the Iranian new year) then sabzeh – the green sprouts and blades of grass coaxed out of lentil, wheat or other seeds – is the cornerstone of haft seen.

I am partial to this pretty tradition of growing sabzeh – it is such an innocent yet profoundly charming thrill. Alas, no partaking in the charm of growing sabzeh for yours truly this year though, as I’m shortly off to have my excellent adventure in Iran.

But if you want to grow your green sprouts for Norooz or Easter or perhaps in honor of Earth Day, fear not fret not, I have 2 archive posts — each a detailed and complete step by step tutorial pictorial guide of how to grow your own sabzeh (wheat grass or lentil grass) without soil. So tiptoe over and check them out:

1) How to Grow Sabzeh for Norooz (or Easter or Earth Day) (2013)

2) DIY Guide for Growing Green for Norooz or Earth Day (2012)

It’s easy! Mostly requiring water, sunshine, and a shiny and patient disposition.

Mind you, to grow sabzeh in time for Norooz (which is March 20th – or check out this site for the Norooz countdown) you should get started no later than this weekend, by March 9th at the latest, as it generally takes 10-11 days from the time you get started till you have a nicely grown tiny field of green sprouts.


Go to it and profit and pleasure from producing delightful blades of sprouting grass! With the tacit blessings of both President Lincoln and the ancient Persians.

Happy growing!



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Comments (42)

  • lapetitecasserole 8 years ago Reply

    Water, sunshine, and a shiny and patient disposition. I love your directions, not only for the sprouting grass! lovely post, as ever!

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Thank you! I venture to guess that this sums up your disposition. I know it!

  • Amanda 8 years ago Reply

    Very cool. All of your posts have such beautiful depth and meaning. Happy transitioning of seasons!

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Thank you dear Amanda! I’m so ready for us to transition to spring. Despite your glorious winter pix!

    Amanda 8 years ago

    So last night I made some really great Persian chicken kabobs from the book Food of Life and I need a side dish for tonight. I’m looking at your polau…how long do you think it would take OR do you have a quick persian rice that you’d recommend from your site? I’m scouring yours and Fae’s and they all seem oddly daunting!

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago

    Good question and one that reminds me to put writing the “kateh” recipe on my list, kateh is a much easier verison of “polo” … as of now though, I think the addas polo is the least fussy one, and if you really want to go for something quick, don’t worry too much about the fuffiness and just wash rice, boil it, drain it and then when putting it back in the pot to steam it, add a a layer of sauteed lentils to each layer of rice, steam it, and call it a day! Sorry am in a crazy way these days otherwise would try a much more detailed reply! Hope this helps though!

    Amanda 8 years ago

    Totally helps. Thanks so much!

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago

    When I’m back would love to say hello in person maybe go to an Iranian cafe in NY & sample some delicious fare. By the way, here’s link to the addas polo: with some dates and raisins (and sauted in caramelized onions of course) lentil rice is a delicious compliment to chicken kabob. Have it with side of yogurt and if you want to go the extra mile of “persian” also some fresh herbs! And, most importantly: NOOSHEH jan! 🙂 xo

    Amanda 8 years ago

    Thank you! Yes, let’s totally get together when you’re back! I’ve got tons of herbs from the kabobs, mint, cilantro, parsley. I’m going to give it a go tonight!

  • peppersandplums 8 years ago Reply


    We of Orthodox faith also sprout grass. It must be an old world tradition, regardless of specific religion.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    It must be! This and coloring eggs are things one sees repeated across various cultures. It must be because they are such primal and meaningfully symbolic traditions. Thank you for your lovely comment!

  • Bizou 8 years ago Reply

    Just love all your posts specially your illustrations. In my previous reply I forgot to say Happy Norooz in Iran to you. Aidet mobaarak.( just incase we don’t talk before you leave.)

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Happy Norooz and Aidet mobarak! Mersi! This comment is giving me a perma smile! 🙂 xoxo

  • Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things 8 years ago Reply

    What a lovely, inspiring post, as always Azita! Love it!.

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Thank you Liz. So sweet, as always! 🙂

  • tinywhitecottage 8 years ago Reply

    Great post Azita! I love your photographs and color scheme.

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Thank you! I really like that particular shade of blue and with orange … that color combo with green makes me happy. I really like it that you enjoy the combo too!

  • tableofcolors 8 years ago Reply

    I can’t wait to plant my Easter grass. Usually I use a thin layer of dirt but maybe this year I’ll try you method!

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    It works, do try it please. You have such exquisite taste and I’d love to see your Easter grass! Such a pretty tradition, no?

  • ediblethings 8 years ago Reply

    I love sprouting seeds. I don’t have a particular cultural relevance, but there is a lot that is centering about growing things for nourishment and replenishment.
    I have to admit, that I have started the cleaning early, by necessity, but I’m looking forward to the rest, including some sprouting.

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    You already did your spring cleaning? I envy you and applaud you! Sprout and color eggs, get some sweet smelling flowers and don’t forget to make lots of sweet delicious things to eat and some pretty cute new things to wear! 🙂

  • Gather and Graze 8 years ago Reply

    A beautiful tradition Azita to pass on to others – thank you for sharing this! My boys would enjoy growing these as well, particularly as you don’t need to wait to long for results! 🙂

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    It’s not instant gratification, granted, but yes, results are immediate enough to make young and old happy! 🙂
    Thrilled to hear your boys will be participating. Growing green grass seems to be a symbolic tradition for many cultures.

  • apuginthekitchen 8 years ago Reply

    This year I want to try growing the sabzeh, such a lovely tradition. I love the specific meaning of each item for haft seen. How wonderful that you will be in Iran for Norooz.

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Plese do! I think Izzy & Nando will enjoy it too! 🙂
    I AM excited to be there for Norooz! Yay

  • agentlabroad 8 years ago Reply

    Just started soaking some black lentils. Great idea, and much needed after our umpteenth snow storm this winter.

  • Francesca 8 years ago Reply

    Patient disposition? Not really one of my strongest trait right now. 😉 I love the pictures. The composition is so beautiful. I just saw your illustrations on Suzanne’s blog. As soon as I saw them, I knew it were yours. Your style is unmistakably recognizable. They are crazy gorgeous. I wish I was so talented.

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    You know what Mark Twain said: I can live on a good compliment for two months. Thank you for 2 months of sustenance dearest Francesca! 🙂

  • Mary Frances 8 years ago Reply

    What a lovely way to welcome spring!

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    it’s an optimistic way for sure! 🙂

  • The Novice Gardener 8 years ago Reply

    I’m sold! I’m growing sabzeh for Easter. What a wonderful and beautiful tradition! XOXO

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Angie, you will like it! It will appeal to your green thumbs!

  • Sophie33 8 years ago Reply

    I grow a lot of my veggies & fruits myself but never have grown this before,…a must try, I see. This is such a lovely post too,…a huge Thanks to you, my friend. 😃

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Wow, you grow fruit? Lucky lucky you! do try it Sophie jan, I know you’ll like it. It’s a rewarding experiment.

  • afracooking 8 years ago Reply

    What a lovely tradition – I did not know about this. And such nice pics!

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    It’s one of my favorite things about Norooz – the Iranian new year! 🙂

  • Fae's Twist & Tango 8 years ago Reply

    Fine, fine post, Azita! I love the quotes and the flow to the last comment you made. 😀

    Fig & Quince 8 years ago Reply

    Thank you dear Fae! Here’s to profit and pleasure!

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  • sarvenaz 7 years ago Reply

    Nowrooz mobarak

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