Ready to Move on to a Traditional Persian Recipe, that is a bit more complicated?
Now that we have made some of the easiest basic dishes, maybe it’s time to kick things up a notch, going beyond a few easy steps by making a warm, healthy and hearty Persian stew. To make this an extra treat, we will keep this recipe as vegan as possible! It happens to be one of my favorite dishes because of all the healthy ingredients combined in this one dish. Taste better than a green leafy smoothie too, with almost all the same benefits.
10 cups of water or more for boiling and simmering
2 tsp of olive oil
1/3 cup of fresh oregano (optional)
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup red beans or pinto beans
5 pieces of saffron
1 pinch of pepper
1 ½ tsp of salt
2 tsp turmeric
1 cup of fresh parsley
1 small lime
1 cup of fresh mint
Chives and scallions are optional (10 sprigs)
1 1/2 lb baby spinach, or a bag of chopped spinach
1-2 small squash (optional)
2 oz of noodles meant for soups and porridge (usually made of wheat or rice)
Kashk, whey ( sour cream can be substituted for kashk), or partial mix from “process 2”.
Before anything: Soak and cook yer’ beans honey! I am pretty sure if you’re taking on a recipe like this, my audience is familiar with bean cooking. If not, usually I like to soak my beans for 5-12 hours in room temp water, or soak them overnight before putting them to boil. Also make sure to clean them beans, so you do not get any rocks in yer’ teeth.
Process 1. I cook the beans in a large pot of water till beans are soft, not mushy, not fully cooked but a little soft. Typically, I boil for a good hour, and then lower the heat to medium-low and add water as needed. The process can take about 2 hours, then I add 1 ½ tsp of salt, most of the turmeric (a bit less than a teaspoon I set aside for “process 2”), and pepper. I also add more water as I mix in the veggies, almost all veggies are added. Add all spinach, most of the onion (set some aside, a handful for process 2). Add the small lime, cilantro, chives, optional oregano, the dried or fresh parsley, and chives or scallions to the mix. You may also add the optional squash, the Asheh is just as good without, some of my pictures show Asheh without the caddo (squash). Stir everything in good, and add 3 cloves of minced garlic, along with half of the fresh or dried mint. Some of these ingredients will be reserved for another step. While everything is on simmer, the soup should not get too thick, it should be stewy like, so step aside now and start on another process.
Process 2. In a little saucepan add the remainder olive oil to low head, the remaining garlic, turmeric, a handful of small diced onion, and mint. The mix will turn a dark color, but to do burn or overcook. (Pictured on top of my Asheh as a garnish too.)
Process 3. Set the saffron in a cup of water for five minutes, till water is good and yellow and dump it in the soup mixture.
Process 4. After you have cooked the Asheh for several minutes to an hour (depending on ingredients used, fresh or dry, cook time can vary), add a handful of noodles or about 10 oz to the mix, stir and cook from a medium to a low for another 30 to 40 minutes.
Last step, Put your Asheh in the serving pot when done. The consistency should be thick, not too thick, a bit more than stew thick though, adding the kashk can thicken your stew (Too much Kashk, I think is unhealthy so I never add more than two spoons to my entire mix, often I only add 1 table spoon). Add the mix from the saucepan, you can mix it into the Ashteh and use a little for garnish.
Add as much Kashk or Sour Cream as you want. I usually use 1-2 tablespoons for the entire pot.
- Serve with a salad (optional)