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Salmon & Cilantro Stew (Ghalieh Mahi)

Salmon & Cilantro Stew (Ghalieh Mahi)

This Persian stew is popular in Northern Iran, near the Caspian Sea. Filled with fresh herbs, like cilantro and parsley, and lots of garlic, this stew is served over a plate of basmati sauce. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice



  1. In a food processor purée until finely chopped:
    • 9 oz cilantro, fresh , stems removed
    • 3 oz parsley, American , stems removed
  2. In large pot over medium-high heat add:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  3. When oil is hot, add in:
    • 1/2 onion , diced
  4. Cook until onions start to soften and reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Continue cooking for 10 mins then stir in:
    • 1 tsp turmeric, dried
    • 4 large garlic cloves , minced
  6. Cook garlic for 5 mins then stir in chopped herbs.
  7. Cook for 5 min and stir in:
    • 2 TBS fenugreek, dried
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  8. Cook for an additional 10 mins then add:
    • 2 cup water
    • 2 TBS lemon juice
    • 2 TBS tamarind paste
  9. Cover pot, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours.
  10. At this point, the stew can be stored in a refrigerator until needed. The longer it sits, the more flavor the mixture will have.
  11. About 20 mins prior to serving, submerge into the hot stew:
    • 1 lb salmon , cut into 4 equal pieces
  12. Cover pot and heat over medium-low heat until fish is done, 20 mins.
  13. Serve hot.

Salmon & Cilantro Stew (Ghalieh Mahi) Detail

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 2-4 hours

Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 4 oz salmon & 1/2 cup of stew

Serving Suggestions: Serve with basmati rice.

Cooking Tips: This dish is typically spicy. If you like, add 1/4-1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper.