Ash Reshteh

Ash Reshteh is a revered dish deeply entrenched in Iranian culture, enriched with age-old customs and traditions. It holds a special place as a culinary gesture of care and community solidarity. Traditionally, three days after an individual’s journey or absence from home, their family prepares this dish, offering it to the less fortunate in their vicinity. This gesture, known as the tradition of “Posht Pa Pazaan”(cooking after their leave), is believed to extend solace to the traveler and foster a sense of communal support. In an era marked by significant Iranian migration, one can imagine the prevalence of the tradition of cooking Ash reshteh among the remaining population today.

In light of the significant Iranian diaspora, the tradition of cooking Shah Pasha continues to endure, serving as a nostalgic link to shared cultural heritage among the remaining populace.

Ash Reshteh is also prepared as a vow during the months of Ramadan and Muharram for Iranian religious people to offer others in need or to their neighbors. Boasting numerous enthusiasts, packed with vegetables and legumes, this dish offers a plethora of nutrients and health benefits. Beyond its delectable flavor, Ash Reshteh serves as a wholesome source of nourishment for the body. Join us on a culinary journey as we delve into the intricacies of cooking Ash Reshteh.

Ingredients

  •  Chickpeas: 40 grams
  •  Red kidney beans: 40 grams
  •  Black-eyed peas: 40 grams
  •  Lentils: 50 grams
  •  Medium onions: 3
  •  Oil: as needed
  •  Turmeric: 1 tablespoon
  •  Spinach: 20 grams
  •  Parsley: 20 grams
  •  Chives: 30 grams
  •  Dill: 10 grams
  •  Coriander: 20 grams
  •  Dried mint: 2 tablespoons
  •  Ash Reshteh noodles: 70 grams
  •  Garlic: 2 cloves
  •  Kashk (whey): 2 tablespoons
  •  Flour: 2 tablespoons
  •  Salt and black pepper: to taste

Complete Ash Reshteh Cooking Method

Step One: Preparing Legumes:

  • The night before, soak the chickpeas, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils in separate containers. Change the water a few times to reduce their gas-inducing properties. Soak the lentils in a separate container as well.

Step Two: Preparing Vegetables:

  •   After the legumes have soaked and partially cooked, clean, wash, and chop the spinach, parsley, chives, dill, and coriander.

Cooking:

  1.  Frying Onions and Spices:
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and fry until golden brown. Then, add minced garlic and turmeric, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  1. Adding Legumes and Water:
  • To the pot with fried onions, add the pre-soaked and drained legumes. Add enough water to cover the legumes by a few inches. Bring to a boil, then simmer until fully cooked, about an hour.
  1. Incorporating Vegetables and Noodles:
  • Once the legumes are cooked, add the chopped greens and dried mint. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then, add Ash Reshteh noodles and cook according to package instructions, usually about 15-20 minutes until tender.
  1. Seasoning and Thickening:
  • In a small bowl, mix flour with water to create a slurry. Gradually stir into the Ash to thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  1. Frying Additional Onions and Garlic for Garnish:
  • In a small pan, heat oil and fry remaining onions and garlic until crispy. Add dried mint and sauté until fragrant.

Serving

  •  Serve the Ash hot, drizzled with kashk and the fried onion, garlic, and mint mixture on top. This enhances both flavor and aroma, creating a delightful dish.
This method ensures a rich, nutritious, and comforting bowl of Ash Reshteh, perfect for sharing with loved ones.

Maryam Omrani & Fahad Raji in the Fittja Kitchen, preparing Ash Reshteh for Nouruz. March, 2024.