Abgoosht is a one-pot Persian wonder, that gives you a two course meal to enjoy. Incredibly delicious, and made with common staples: meat, beans, potatoes and tomatoes. Try it the ceremonial way with friends and family or keep it simple.
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Persian Meat Soup with Chickpeas
Abgoosht is a traditional Persian dish, that is wildly popular as ‘Dizi’ in restaurants. ‘Ab’ means water and ‘goosht’ means meat, but in this context it translates to meat broth or meat soup.
It is prepared with meat, beans and vegetables like cassoulet or chili. Basically a one-pot meal, that is cooked as a hearty soup or stew. But how it is eaten is also an important aspect.
In restaurants, this hearty comfort dish is typically cooked in serving-size pots, also known as Dizi. These pots are made of stone, ceramic or metal and individually filled with the ingredients and slow-cooked in a large oven for 5 to 6 hours.
Then it is served hot in sizzling pots along with pot holders and wooden pestles, for the guests to complete the process of enjoying it. Sort of like what happens in a fondue restaurant.
Although there is no cooking involved at the table, this dish is typically enjoyed with company. The whole process is ceremonial and quiet fun.
Abgoosht is a complete meal that is enjoyed as two delicious courses. Make a full course Persian menu with a few accompaniments.
- Meat: Use bone-in lamb shanks, short ribs, shoulder or leg. Beef, veal or goat are other options. If using very lean meat, then add some olive oil while cooking.
- Fat or Oil: The recipe doesn’t use additional oil as there is some fat in the meat. Traditional recipes use some extra sheep fat.
- Beans: Choose a combination of dried chickpeas and white beans (navy or cannellini). For canned beans, use two 15-ounce cans and add to the pot with potatoes and tomatoes.
- Onions: Peel and quarter yellow onions.
- Potatoes: Starchy potatoes like russets are ideal for making the mashed mixture (below). If not mashing, use waxy red potatoes. Yellow gold potatoes are suitable for either.
- Tomatoes: I don’t blanch and peel the tomatoes but some people do. Tomato paste can be substituted as well.
- Dried limes: Rinse and pierce the limes using a fork. Lime juice or dried lime powder are other options.
- Tomato Paste
- Advieh (Persian mixed spice)
- Salt and Pepper
How To Make Abgoosht
Brief overview below. *Full recipe at the end of blog post.
- Soak: Soak the beans overnight in water.
- Meat and Beans: Cook the meat, beans, onions, spices with water or broth.
- Vegetables: Add potatoes, tomatoes, tomato paste, limes and cook until tender. Adjust seasonings.
- Serve: Separate chunkier contents from broth and mash it. Top broth with bite-site flatbread pieces and enjoy. Make sandwiches or wraps with meat mash.
- Traditionally abgoosht is slow-cooked, allowing the flavors and textures to develop. On stove-top, use a dutch oven or a traditional metal cooking pot. You can use a slow cooker as well.
- If using instant pot for quicker results, braise the meat with spices and sauté the onions for adding a depth of flavor.
How To Serve Abgoosht
Abgoosht is cooked as a one-pot dish but eaten in two parts.
Goosht Koobideh: Separate meat (de-boned), potatoes, beans from the broth and pound it into a mash using a mallet known as goosht-koob. The meat mash texture is like the filling used in tuna salad, chicken salad or refried beans. A bit lumpy and not a smooth paste.
Tilit: Serve broth topped with bite-site pieces of flatbread, allow to soak it a bit and enjoy.
Sandwiches/Wrap: Spread mashed meat on warm Persian flatbreads such as sangak or lavash and top with sliced radish, fresh herbs, pickles and enjoy as wraps or small sandwiches.
Homestyle: The above was the traditional Persian way of eating abgoosht. But at home we often enjoy it as a chunky soup, not separating the contents from the broth.
Appetizers: For a modern twist, you could even serve it on dried crackers or toasted bread and garnish with herbs.
It is like eating a hummus sandwich, so there are different textures. The smooth meat mash, crunchy pickles, crisp vegetables and fresh herbs.
What To Serve Along
I can enjoy this abgoosht all by itself. However, traditional accompaniments are as below.
- Flatbreads: sangak (stone baked bread) or lavash. We have a barbari bread and whole wheat pita on the blog.
- Salad: such as Shirazi salad.
- Beverage: Doogh.
- Sabzi Khordan: An assortment of radishes, green onions, basil, tarragon, mint, cilantro and water cress. Arrange it on a platter with some feta cheese.
- Persian pickles (Torshi).
Abgoosht is high protein, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free and grain free.
- Vegan: Skip the meat and increase the beans. You can add non-vegan miso paste and/or mushroom broth to increase the umami flavor. Add roasted eggplant, okra, bell peppers, root vegetables and such.
- Low-Carb: To lower the carbs, skip the potatoes and beans. You could add eggplant.
- Low Sodium: Lower the salt and use more lime juice, spices and herbs for flavor.
- Soak the beans ahead. Chop the vegetables earlier.
- Season the meat with spices earlier.
Storage and Leftovers
Abgoosht can be refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. To freeze, store meat/potato/beans or mashed mixture and broth in different containers for up to 2 months. Reheat in microwave or on stove top, adding water as needed.
Abgoosht is a very filling complete meal prepared with meat, beans and vegetables.
Chickpeas and navy beans are a good source of soluble, insoluble fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are also a great source of cholesterol lowering soluble fiber.
Potatoes are a source of complex carbohydrates and tomatoes are rich in antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, lycopene, beta-carotene and several phytonutrients.
Lamb is an excellent source of high quality protein and vitamin B-12. It is also a source of niacin, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and Iron. Choose grass fed lamb (link) as it is more lean and nutritious.
More One Pot Recipes
- Beef and Barley Soup
- Haleem (savory porridge)
- Ash Reshteh (Persian noodle soup)
- Harira (Moroccan Chickpea & Lentil Soup)
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
Abgoosht (Meat Potato Soup)
- 2½ pounds lamb shanks or beef/veal/goat, ribs, shoulder or leg, with bone
- ½ cup dried chickpeas or yellow split peas
- ½ cup dried navy beans cannellini, or chickpeas
- 2 yellow onions large, peeled, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic grated, optional
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1½ teaspoons salt adjust per taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 quarts water or broth
- 1½ lb potatoes peeled, cut into halves
- 1 lb tomatoes sliced or 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon advieh Persian mixed spice, see note for substitute
- 4 dried limes rinsed and pierced, or ¼ cup lime juice, see note
- ½ teaspoon saffron ground and dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water, optional
- Rinse dried chickpeas and navy beans. Add 4 cups water and soak overnight. Drain the beans and discard water before cooking.
- In a dutch oven or large cooking pot, add meat, beans, onions, garlic, turmeric, salt, black pepper and water. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and let it simmer for 100 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add potatoes, tomatoes, tomato paste, advieh, dried limes or lime juice and continue to simmer until the meat, beans and potatoes are fork tender, about 45 minutes. Add saffron water in the last 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings per taste. Use water as needed.
- Pick out the limes and press juices through a sieve, making sure not to let the bitter seeds get into the soup. Add this lime juice gradually, as per your taste.
- Tip: To enjoy it the non-traditional way, serve it as a soup with bread. Or serve it the traditional way as follows.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat, potatoes and beans from the pot and transfer to a large bowl. Debone the meat using a fork. Remove any marrow from the bones and add to the bowl. Discard the bones.
- With a wooden masher, pound the meat, potatoes and beans into a lumpy mixture, known as ‘goosht koobideh’ (mashed meat). Adjust the consistency and taste; adding broth, salt, pepper and lime juice. To mash this in a food processor, use only the pulse function and keep consistency lumpy.
- Heat up the broth and mashed meat and transfer to serving bowls and serve with warm flat breads such as sangak or lavash, pickles (torshi), salad shirazi, sabzi khordan (fresh herbs, radishes) and doogh.
- Traditionally the broth is served first. Ladle the warm broth into a bowl. Flatbread is torn into small pieces, added to the broth to soak up a bit, before enjoying.
- Next, the goosht koobideh (mashed meat) can be made as sandwiches or wraps with flat breads, topping with fresh herbs, pickles, sliced radish and such.
- Canned Beans: Use two 15-ounce cans and add them with potatoes and tomatoes. Lower the amount of water used.
- Dried Limes: Also known as limu-omani. You can remove the bitter seeds and grind it into lime powder. Pierce the limes in couple places. Add to soup gradually as per taste.
- Advieh: Use the one for khoresh or soup. Substitute with a mild middle-eastern or eastern Mediterranean mixed spice blend.
- Instant pot: Braise the meat with spices and sauté the onions for adding a depth of flavor.
- Make Ahead: Soak the beans, chop the vegetables and season meat with spices earlier.
- Storage and Leftovers: Refrigerate for 4 to 5 days. To freeze, store meat/potato/beans or mashed mixture and broth in different containers for up to 2 months. Reheat in microwave or on stove top, adding water as needed.
- For more information on ingredients, variations and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.