Vegan Abgoosht (Persian Meat Stew without the Meat)

Abgoosht translates into “meat water” in English. It is an easy one-pot Persian dish traditionally made with tender meat, potatoes, legumes, and spices. This dish, however, is wonderful without the meat, and I have had people tell me they prefer this vegan version.

This past weekend, I enjoyed a four-day family reunion on a ranch with cows, chickens, and horses. To my surprise and delight, every meal was meatless and almost the entire trip was plant-based. My husband asked if I ever thought that would happen. I said, no. The world is truly changing, and the future is plant-based.

One morning, during the family reunion, I woke to the loud sound of cows mooing. I looked out the window and saw a cow walking loose around the ranch!! I, of course, jumped out of bed to see what was happening. All the cows were communicating over the fencing to their runaway friend.

I called the Airbnb property manager who quickly arrived and helped the cow get back into the pasture with her friends. I learned that the cow’s name is Indie. That she had found an opening in the fence line way back on the property but had found her way back home along the road (at 6 a.m.)!

The property manager said that cows are incredibly intelligent and social. They are vocal. They communicate. They can be sweet. They can be protective. I found it especially interesting that she named all the female cows (Indie, Victoria, Rosie) and the bull (Paulie), but not their babies. Because the babies are sold at auction. Because which animals we love and which we slaughter is arbitrary.

So here is to enjoying Abgoosht without the Goosht. Similar to Beef Stew without the Beef; because that burger, that steak was someone, not something.

Ingredients

  • 2 Russet potatoes (washed, peeled, and roughly chopped)
  • 2 soft and ripe tomatoes (washed, stem removed, and roughly chopped)
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup dry black-eyed peas or chickpeas (soaked in water for 1-2 hours before cooking)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cooking oil
  • Vegetable broth to cover the ingredients (about 4 cups)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium pot, cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until tender and blended. Keep an eye and add water/broth as needed.
  3. Remove any large tomato skins from the stew before serving.

SERVES 2-3 people