BY WENDELL BROCK
Photogenic it is not. We’ll allow you that.
But take a bite of Rumi’s Kitchen definitive version of the herby, beef-and-kidney-bean stew known as ghormeh sabzi, and you’ll agree that beauty is over-rated. Whatever this Persian classic lacks in sexiness, it makes up in flavor.
Ghormeh sabzi is Iran’s answer to America’s hearty beef stew, and Rumi’s long-simmered take is the finest of slow food: chunks of impeccably braised, impossibly tender meat in a glistening, almost-black gravy that gets its distinctive bitter tang from dried Persian limes and pungent fenugreek leaves.
Arriving in its own squat little crock, the stew comes with a generous dinner plate piled with fluffy, long-grain basmati rice. (The only flashes of color here are the red kidney beans and corona of saffron-dyed rice.) Ladle some of the rich stew onto your plate. Push it around so that the rice can soak up the juices. And dig into an ancient food that is exotic, comforting and a harbinger of spring. (Sabzi is Farsi for “herbs,” and here refers to the green paste made from scallions, parsley, spinach and so on that is the building block of ghormeh sabzi.)
On March 21, Persians celebrate Nowruz, the festival that marks the New Year with the beginning of spring. At Nowruz feasts all over the diaspora, including Atlanta, ghormeh sabzi will be as ubiquitous as pots of pastel-colored hyacinths. You can partake of the lovely spring tradition right here at Rumi’s.
Ghormeh sabzi, $17. Rumi’s Kitchen. Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Dinner: 4-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 4-11 p.m. Fridays; 12-11 p.m. Saturdays; and 12-10 p.m. Sundays. 6112 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-477-2100. rumiskitchen.com
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