Ghormeh Alu

This is my attempt at a variation of the classic Persian lamb, bean and spinach stew known as Ghormeh Sabzi, and owes its origin to the fact that we had half a dozen ripe plums [Alu in Farsi] that were surplus to requirements and too good to throw away.

¼ cup olive oil.
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped.
1 tsp fenugreek.
½ tsp turmeric.
¼ tsp white pepper.
Salt to taste.
2 cloves garlic, chopped.
6 very ripe plums.
¼ cup water.
1 400g can chick peas, drained.
¼ cup sultanas.
Another ¼ cup olive oil.
300g diced chicken meat.
A good handful leafy greens, e.g. spinach, silver beet, bok choi etc., washed and chopped.

Heat the oil in a pan over a hot flame and fry the onion until beginning to caramelise. Add the spices and cook for a minute or so until the aromas are released. Add the garlic, plums and the water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent sticking.

Remove from the heat and push through a kitchen sieve or chinoise into a bowl, taking care to remove and discard all the plum stones. Beat the sauce thoroughly, stir in the chick peas and sultanas, cover and leave in a cool place until ready to prepare the main meal.

Heat the second ¼ cup of oil in a sauté pan over a hot flame. Add the meat and stir fry until sealed all over, then add the sauce mixture and bring to the boil, stirring well. Add a little more water if required. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir the greens through and cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Serve immediately with boiled rice.

Serves: 2.

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