Vegan or Traditional Khoresht Lubia - Tomato Saffron Persian Stew

This fragrant red tomato based stew is rich with aromatic Persian spices and flavors, from saffron to dried limes, giving this dish a heavy body and bold heart. Perfect to warm you up with delicious nutrients from the inside out. This healthier version to my grandmothers traditional recipe is made without oil, making it considerably lighter in caloric density, and can easily be plant-based or vegan by using the veggie subs listed in my recipe below. 

Leftovers taste even better after the spices marinate in the fridge for a couple of days. You can poor the sauce over cauliflower rice, basmati rice or tahdig, baked Japanese yams, warm farmers bread, as a replacement for tomato sauce to use in spaghetti squash, tossed with zoodles, or even as base to start your next Shakshuka. You can also flash freeze batches of the stew sauce to use for future recipes, or a quick meal to nook. This recipe brings back so many delicious memories in my grandmas kitchen, and I hope it inspires you to create and enjoy new ones. 

Vegan or Traditional Khoresht Lubia - Tomato Saffron Persian Stew
by Sarah Farsh March 1st, 2021
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
    • or maple syrup, 3 squirts pure stevia, 1 tsp monk fruit sugar, or skip.
  • 4 limu amani (Persian dried limes, pierced)
  • 1 tsp Persian saffron (soaked in 4 tbsp warm water)
  • 2 tsp Kosher sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 28oz crushed tomatoes (or tomato purée - ingredients should just say "tomato") 
  • 1 juicy lemon, juiced 
  • organic chicken breast or skinless thighs
    • or maitake mushroom, cauliflower, portobello mushroom, eggplant or kombucha squash
  • water (more or less depending how thick you want the sauce) 
  • 1-2 cups French string beans
    • or green beans
In a large stew pot, dry sauté onions until they're light golden brown, adding small splash of water as needed to help not stick. Add garlic and sauté with onions, turmeric, pomegranate molasses, limu amani (dried limes, that you've pierced little holes into with a knife or fork so the juice can release when they hydrate in your stew), Persian saffron (with the warm water that the saffron has been soaking in as well), salt, pepper, lemon juice and crushed tomatoes. Add a splash of water to attain your desired thickness (more water is lighter more soupy sauce, less water is a thicker more stewy sauce). Add chicken breast, or the veggie substitutions of choice, and put a lid on top of the pot to poach/cook for 15-20 minutes. Top with fresh or frozen string beans just minutes before serving to maintain green vibrancy. Poor and serve over cauliflower rice, rice, potatoes, squash, or warm farmers bread. 


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