Morgh-e Torsh is the Persian sour chicken and green herb stew. The dish comes from Gilan with its magical green herbs! The sour taste of Morgh-e Torsh along with its magnificent odour will probably take one to the heart of Iran, Gilan. This simple dish is full of flavours and you cannot go wrong giving this recipe a try!

What is Morgh-e Torsh?

Morgh-e Torsh belongs to the northern province of Iran along the Caspian Sea, Gilan. Northern Iran has its own specific green herbs and they are usually only found in Gilan, however, the recipe could be adjusted depending on the green herbs available or it could even be made with dried herbs found in any Persian supermarket.  

Morgh-e Torsh consists of chicken, yellow split peas, green herbs, and lemon juice. I have used dried herbs in this recipe as it requires no preparation such as washing and chopping, and it actually decreases the cooking period. In addition, the original recipe calls for eggs, however, I have only used chicken as the protein in this recipe.

Morgh-e Torsh is one of the simplest dishes in Iranian cuisine. The pot can bubble gently and release its magnificent aroma to your house, and you can sit back and wait for it to be ready! The sour taste comes from bitter oranges that belong specifically to Iran however, Morgh-e Torsh could be made with lemon juice as well. Don’t forget that like every other stew in Persian cuisine this food is also served with Persian rice.

Vegetarian Morgh-e Torsh

Morgh-e Torsh has over three variations depending on the protein. Traditionally it was made with only eggs, but nowadays it is more common with chicken and eggs. For a vegetarian option, the protein could be replaced with anything such as grilled tofu or grilled eggplant.

Morgh-e Torsh ingredients

ingredients for morgh torsh

  • 1 Large onion chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • ½ cup dried mint
  • 2/3 cup dried parsley
  • 2/3 cup dried coriander
  • 1/2 cup dried basil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (more or less depends on your taste)
  • 6 tbsp yellow split peas
  • 4-5 pieces Chicken breast or skinless, boneless thigh
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 tsp of Turmeric
  • Salt and Pepper

How to make Morgh-e Torsh

In a pan, add a small amount of oil over medium heat. Spice the chicken breast cut into pieces with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Fry the chicken on both sides and set aside. Instead of chicken, you can prepare vegetarian protein such as tofu or eggplants for a vegetarian Morgh-e Torsh.

fried chicken for morgh-e torsh

In a large pot over medium heat add one tablespoon of oil and add the chopped onions and garlic. To create a rich base for the stew sautée the onions and garlic until light., add the yellow split peas and stir for one minute and add 1 cup of water. Let it simmer.

yellow split peas and onions for morgh-e torsh

Add dried mint, dried parsley, dried coriander, and dried basil. If you cannot find dried herbs in the supermarket, simply buy the fresh herbs in the supermarket. You can prepare them by washing, drying, and chopping them with a food processor.

Then simply add 2 cups of cold water to the pot. Let the stew to boil over medium heat and bring down the heat to medium-low. Add half of the lemon juice at this stage. Cover the pot and let it simmer for at least half an hour over medium-low heat.

Stir the stew occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pot. The stew should be thick, but it should not stick to the pot. After an hour and a half of simmering on medium-low heat, add the chicken to the pot. 

chicken with herbs- morgh-e torsh

Let the stew to simmer for 1 more hour and meanwhile stir the pot.

Turn off the heat and add the rest of the lemon juice to the pot and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

How to serve Morgh-e Torsh

Remove your food from the heat. Pour the Morgh-e Trosh to a large serving bowl. Enjoy it over rice with side dishes such as salad, baby onions and radishes along with a great Persian drink!

Slow cooker Morgh-e Torsh

If you own a slow cooker you should give this recipe a try! You can simply fry the onions and spiced chicken until both sides of the chicken are golden. Once the onion and chicken are ready you can add all the Morgh Torsh ingredients in your slow cooker at once and set it on high for 4-6 hours to come home to a pleasant smell of Fesenjan! Bon Appetit! 

RECIPE NOTES:

  • Find dried herbs at the Iranian supermarkets or speciality food stores.
  • For a vegetarian Morgh Torsh, grill the vegetable protein and add it just before serving to prevent the disintegration of the protein.
  • If the yellow split peas cook really fast, simply add them 30 minutes before turning off the heat.
  • Make sure to not overcook the chicken as it can easily fall apart in your Morgh-e Torsh.
  • At the very end, you can add your optional ingredient: eggs! Whisk eggs in a bowl and add them to the pot, stir until it thickens.  
  • The sourness of this food could vary depending on your taste. 1/3 cup of lemon juice of bitter orange is suggested, but you can adjust the taste of sourness by adding more.

MORGH-E TORSH

Persian sour chicken stew with green herbs and yellow split peas
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: Morgh Torsh, stew
Servings: 4 people
Author: Fatemeh

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Onion Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Chopped
  • 4 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • ½ Cup Dried Mint
  • 2/3 Cup Dried Parsley
  • 2/3 Cup Dried Coriander
  • 2/3 Cup Dried Basil
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 6 Tbsp Yellow Split Peas
  • 4 Chicken Breast
  • 2-3 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  • 1. In a large pot over medium heat add one tablespoon of oil and add the chopped onions and garlic.
    2. Sautée the onions and garlic until light.
    3. In a pan, add a small amount of oil over medium heat. Spice the chicken breast cut into pieces with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Fry the chicken on both sides and set aside.
    4. In the first pot, add the yellow split peas and stir for one minute and add 1 cup
    of water. Let it simmer.
    5. Add dried mint, dried parsley, dried coriander, and dried basil.
    6. Add 2 cups of cold water to the pot. Let the stew to boil over medium heat and bring down the heat to medium-low.
    7. Add half of the lemon juice at this stage.

    8. Cover the pot and let it simmer for at least half an hour over medium-low heat.

    9. Stir the stew occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pot. The stew
    should be thick, but it should not stick to the pot.
    10. After an hour of simmering on medium-low heat, add the chicken to the pot.  
    11. Let the stew to simmer for 1 more hour and meanwhile stir the pot.
    12. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the lemon juice to the pot and stir. Taste
    and adjust the seasoning.

Notes

  1. Morgh Torsh is served with rice. 
  2. If you cannot find dried herbs in the supermarket, simply buy the fresh herbs in the supermarket. You can prepare them by washing, drying, and chopping them with a food processor.