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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Aash e Shalgham

Aash and I.......

"Aash" is a hearty Persian soup just meant for winters.
I've heard that they have AT LEAST a bazzlion different ways of making it!
I had a couple of turnips lying around so I made this... however I am dying to try Aash-e-anar made with fresh pomegranate seeds..... sounds so perfect!

I searched the net for a good authentic recipe source for this particular soup and came across the same version splattered on several different sites. That recipe seemed a bit plain and the quantity of the onions and turmeric used sounded like a lot! So I tweaked it just a bit. And I think it came out terrific :-)

(Enough for 4-5 servings)
(Prep time: 45 mins)


Ground lean beef 1 lbs
Turnips 2 cups ( I chopped these into tiny 1/2" squares)
Yellow split peas 1/4 cup (Soaked in water for 45 min)
Basmati rice 1/2 cup + Tbs
Onions 1/2 cup (chopped very fine)
Garlic 1 tsp (minced)
Green chili 1/2 tsp (minced)
Fresh mint 1 Tbs (chopped very fine)
White vinegar 1 tsp
Butter 3 Tbs (unsalted)
Turmeric 1 rounded tsp
Sumac 2/3 tsp
Oil for frying

Methodology and all that....

First step is to make the meatballs... and you do that by combining the ground beef, onions, garlic, chilies in a large bowl. Add sumac, salt and a good amount of pepper (I used approx 2/3 tsp).
Make 1" dia balls. You will have close to 18 meatballs.
Now we are going to shallow fry these. Heat enough oil t0 submerge the meatballs half way.
Cook for 1 min each side. They will cook fully in the soup. Right now we are looking for a nice brown color.
Take out the meatballs and keep aside.
Boil 3 cups of water in a heavy base wide pot.
Add the turnips, rice and the split peas.
Season with salt. Add the turmeric... good amount of pepper.
Cover the pot and cook for 30 mins.
This gets thick and might burn the bottom of the pan so stir frequently and add more water if needed.
The consistancy should be like runny porridge.
Use the back of your spoon to mash some pieces of turnip against the pot.
Gently add the meatballs.
Lower the heat cover the pot and simmer away for 15 mins.
In the last five mins add the mint, the butter and the vinegar.
Mix well..
You can now enjoy a delicious bowl of Aash!


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