BOZBĀŠ, Azeri Turkish name for an Iranian dish usually called ābgūšt-e sabzī (green vegetable stew; Ghanoonparvar, pp. 102-03; see ābguᵛšt); it is made with meat (usually lamb), red or white beans, green vegetables, herbs (e.g., parsley, fenugreek, mint), onions and leeks, dried limes (līmū-ye ʿomānī), and spices (mainly salt, pepper, and turmeric). These ingredients are simmered together in water over low heat for several hours. As with most ābgūšts, when the ingredients are thoroughly cooked, the solids are usually removed and mashed to a pulp, known as gūšt-e kūbīda. The broth and the pulp are then served separately with flat bread and a pickled green-vegetable relish.
It has been suggested that the name is derived from Azeri Turkish boz (light gray) and bāš (head) and perhaps refers to the light gray color of the dish when it is cooked (Kadri, p. 768), but no scientific etymology has been offered by Doerfer (IV, p. 271). Bozbāš appears to have been introduced into Iranian cuisine relatively late; Mīrzā ʿAlī-Akbar Khan Āšpazbāšī (p. 45), chef at the court of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah Qājār (r. 1264-1313/1848-96) was the first to mention it; he classified it with the yaḵnī (meat stews and soups, often eaten cold).
Mīrzā Alī-Akbar Khan Āšpazbāšī, Sofra-ye aṭʿema, 1353 Š./1974.
M. R. Ghanoonparvar, Persian Cuisine. Traditional Foods I, Lexington, Kentucky, 1982.
H. K. Kadri, Türk Lugâtî I, Istanbul, 1927.
R. Montaẓemī, Majmūʿa-ye ḡeḏāhā-ye Īrāni o farangī, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968, pp. 494-95.
N. Ramazani, Persian Cooking. A Table of Exotic Delights, 2nd ed., Charlottesville, Virginia, 1982, p. 17.
M. Tehrānī, Tabbāḵī-e kadbānū, Tehran, 1346 Š./1967, p. 41.
(Mohammad R. Ghanoonparvar)
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 4, p. 425