Aash-e-Reshteh / Persian legume Soup

aashAash e reshteh also known as only Aash, is a gorgeous looking sumptuous lentil soup, colors of which makes you go for more. It is called a soup but its a food heavy enough to go for a meal in itself. Its a lentil soup with the goodness of legumes like rajma, chole, chana, ma ki dal, chana dal, spinach, methi, rice and semiya (vermicilli) and mild spices.

The husband was born in Iran and spent good memorable years in there, before they moved back to India. Listening to all the memoirs i feel a like a part of all those years, those were nice years when a couple of indian doctors were having a great time in tehran, living like a small community much akin to todays indians in US or alike. Hence the family and their food has a good influence of Iran and persian cultures. Most of the food influence has been non vegetarian, hence a little vegetarian influence is something i love to inherit.

For the ones for whom its a part of their childhood, it brings back beautiful memories, even otherwise its something to savor on such cold winter days of Punjab. This ones for the beautiful iranian winters! The reshteh means iranian noondles, which can very well be substituted for our semiya or any noodles.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp rajma (kidney beans)
  • 4 tbsp chole (chickpeas)
  • 4 tbsp kala chana
  • 4 tbsp ma ki dal
  • 4 tbsp chana dal
  • 4 tbsp green moong dal
  • 4 tbsp arhar dal
  • 4 tbsp masoor dal
  • 4 cups spinach washed and coarsely cut
  • 4 tbsp dried mint leaves / fresh dill leaves and or spring onions
  • 4 tbsp basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp semiya / sphegetti / noodles
  • Salt to taste
  • For the Tadka
  • 2 big onions finely chopped
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped.
  • pepper as per taste
  • salt
  • For the garnish
  • 1 big onion, for caramelized onions
  • 6-7 garlic cloves slit lengthwise
  • 1 inch of ginger cut into thin juveniles
  • 1/2 tsp of dried mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cream

Directions for Aash

1. Mix all the legumes, and soak them overnight.
2. Next morning put them all into a pressure cooker, leave it on medium high, let it whistle once, and then put it low flame, and leave it like that for 1/2 hr.
3. Switch off the heat, let the steam go, and then add the spinach leaves and the mint leaves / dill leaves , spring onions and cover the cooker and let it simmer.
4. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, when the leaves become really soft, add the rice and cover the cooker and let it simmer Add the salt at this stage.
5. After 10 minutes, add the noodles / semiya by breaking them into a few inches length.
6. Let it cook for 10-15 mins  till the noodles are cooked.
7. In a separate pan add some butter, add the tadka ingredients and let them turn golden brown. Add it to the ash mixture and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
8. Serve them in a large bowl.
9. Prepare a garnish, in a pan add 2 tbsp butter add the onion strands, ginger juveniles, and garlic strands, let them brown really well, caramelized, add some salt and sugar.
10. Serve it in a bowl, garnish with a generous helping of fresh cream and the above garnish and dried mint and enjoyyy! Phew!
11. Serve with some extra yoghurt or iranian kashk by the side.  We relished it with some gajar matar and dahi.

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