The Ghormeh Sabzi Thriller (II)


Nazy Kaviani
by Nazy Kaviani

Part I here:

I was startled to see a tall guy in the little landing between the kitchen and the bathroom. What the heck?!! Before alarm bells had a chance to go off in my head, I saw a second guy standing next to the first one, looking at me, startled and motionless. Who are these guys, how did they get into my house, and what do they want from me? I was horrified.  I thought of screaming to get my sons to come to my rescue, but in those split seconds I was thinking to myself, maybe it would be better for them not to come upstairs to face these men, lest they might get hurt.

Then a telltale sign gave the “perpetrators” away and suddenly eased my mind.  They both looked disheveled and sleepy, as though they had just woken up, and as each of them greeted me “Good Morning” in an Australian accent, I calmed down realizing that these two are not perpetrators, but guests at my house, only they had been invited by the other two people who live in my house! 

The two young Australians, my son’s roommates in college, had apparently tagged along with him into the Bay Area the night before and had come to crash at my house, sleeping in the family room on the first floor.  I simply had not noticed them when I went to work on my Ghormeh Sabzi.

Back in the kitchen, my mind quickly started scanning the situation on the ground!  I have two more guests to feed…and all of a sudden I thought Ghormeh Sabzi is such an overwhelming dish with which to feed two un-initiated Austrialians!  I mean it’s one of those very Iranian things which could make most of us sooo happy to find at the table, and it could quite possibly turn off others.  It's just sooo, ethnic! 

My friends are always telling me that the herbs used in Ghormeh Sabzi, especially shanbalileh, has properties which makes your skin carry its smell for a couple of days!  Though I haven’t experienced the same thing, I  have heard this enough to believe it!  What if these two “foreigners!” get sick and throw up at the table?  I also remembered what my friend Tim had told me a long time ago when he first saw Ghormeh Sabzi served at a dinner party.  He said that he was forever fearful of any food that looked “green!”

What to do?  I quickly made an easy chicken dish, set the table with salad shirazi and torshi, and went to get the boys.  When all five of us sat down to eat, my sons and I took turns trying to explain what Ghormeh Sabzi was and what its ingredients were.  Before the explanations were over, however, each of the guys had helped themselves to a small serving of the dish and before we knew it, the two of them were busy eating the rest! 

The polite compliments were nice, but the best compliment a cook can receive is to see her prepared meal eaten and gone!  With only a small helping of the Ghormeh Sabzi left, I returned the chicken dish to a plastic container for my son to take away with him. 

After they had left and the house was clear of the noise and clutter of the young men, I crashed to recover from a very eventful Sunday!  Phew!  Life is good!


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Ghormeh sabzi in my mind!

by AhmadH (not verified) on

Thanks Nazy-jan for sharing the thriller :) I have also observed several times what your friends say about Ghormeh Sabzi smell. I guess that would be only during the preparation; no problem whatsoever to eat it :) Though for me it is "dast ma kootah o khorma bar nakhil" :(


Dear Nazy:

by LalehGillani on

Your story has motivated me to make Ghormeh Sabzi this weekend. For some strange reason, mine doesn’t taste as good as my mother’s. My boys beg to differ though!

A mother’s magic is timeless…


Nazy did you have to explain limoo ommani too?

by Monda on

That is one thing I never waste on non-Iranian friends. I'm happy to hear you and your sons are all safe and sound! 

bajenaghe naghi

nazy jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

what a rlief to find out that the two strange young men were not there to hurt you. 

all green foods are not created equally. you must be a very good cook. yum yum.  


Thanks for part deaux.

by desi on

Thanks for part deaux.  Great story.  When explaining the shambalileh, I had to laugh.  I used to beg my mom not to make it when I had friends over.  They wouldn't even attempt to try it.  One friend even said it looked like pond scum.  Once you get passed the appearance it's by far the best thing ever.  Looks like the Ozzies got passed the appearance and you've converted some newbies to the wonderful world of Iranian khoreshs.  Nice job Nazy.

ebi amirhosseini

Nazy Jaan

by ebi amirhosseini on

Yummy !


Ebi aka Haaji

Multiple Personality Disorder


by Multiple Personality Disorder on

I can go to sleep now.


Young men's healthy appetite

by Princess on

Nazy jan, this "thriller" reminded me of my brothers when they were younger. I am sure the Australian friends of your son will be talking about the meal they had at your house for years to come.

I enjoy reading the adventures of your household. Thank you.