Abgoosht is one of the most traditional Iranian foods. It is also called Dizi, which refers to the traditional stone crock pots it is served in. Whether you call it Abgoosht or Dizi, you should absolutely try this very traditional Persian recipe, which is often a favorite among the Iranian people.
Abgoosht means “Meat Juice” (ab stands for water and gusht for meat). Abgoosht is a hearty soup or a juicy stew which is traditionally prepared with lamb, chickpeas, white beans, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes. Hundreds of years ago Abgoosht was made with lamb and chickpeas. However, later on when new foods such as potatoes and tomatoes were introduced to Iranian Cuisine, the recipe had some changes.
Serving Abgoosht has a special custom. First the broth is poured in a bowl and served with small pieces of bread soaked in it called, Tileet. Tileet is a soup made with this flavorful broth tossed with bite-size pieces of flat bread. The bread soaks up the broth and all of its flavor. Tileet is served alongside Abgoosht and it literally melts in the mouth. Then the remaining ingredients such as potatoes, beans, chickpeas and lamb are mashed up to a mashed-potato type consistency and served separately alongside with the broth. Traditionally, Iranians use a goosht-koob (literally meat mortar) to serve the crushed solid ingredients along with onions, torshi, yogurt, and sabzi khordan (fresh herbs).
Abgoosht was a meal favored by poorer classes. However, with the introduction of new ingredients in Persian cuisine, this modest meal was improved and became a very popular, comforting dish savored by all Iranians.
Sangak noon is an excellent choice of bread to serve with abgoosht. Traditionally, people eat this dish as they sit on the floor, on a Persian rug, with their legs crossed around a sofreh (tablecloth) placed on the rug.
- 3 lb beef or lamb shank , cut into pieces
- 2 onions , diced
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed
- 2 cups chickpeas (previously soaked for 8 hours)
- 2 cups white beans (previously soaked for 8 hours)
- 1 lb small potatoes , peeled and halved
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 dried limes (limoo amani) or 2 freshly squeezed lemons
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 lb tomatoes , peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 green bell pepper , diced
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Rinse and drain the chickpeas and white beans.
Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Brown the onions in a thick-bottomed pot over low-medium heat. Add the meat.
Poke the Persian limes and add them (or the lemon juice) to the meat.
Add the beans, chickpeas, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, and 6 cups of boiling water. Stir well.
Cover and simmer over low-medium heat for 2h30.
At the start of cooking, check the contents of the pot and remove any foam that may eventually surface.
After 2h30, add the tomato paste and mix well. Then add the fresh tomatoes and the green bell pepper.
Add the potatoes and season the seasoning. Cover and cook again for 2 hours on low heat.
Once the cooking is finished, place a very fine strainer on a large deep bowl to collect all the broth.
Pour the broth into the pot and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Two possibilities :- Reduce all solids to puree – Serve the solids as they are and crush them or not with a fork.
Serve broth and solids separately.