Ash Reshteh (Aush Reshteh, Ash Reshte, آش رشته) is the most famous Persian Ash. Ash is a thick soup of Persian cuisine which mostly includes herbs and beans. It has accompanied Persian dinings from the past, and it is significant for Iranians. Iranians call their master chefs “Ashpaz” which meanes Ash cooker. Iranians believed that a person who could cook Ash could cook anything else. Reshteh is a type of noodle that Iranians make out of flour and water. Almost every Iranian has felt the joy of having a bowl of hot Ash in winter. There are more than 50 types of thick soups in Persian cuisine. Ash Reshteh is the standard-bearer of them.
Iranians serve Aush Reshreh in some special events such as Sizdah-Be-Dar, Ramadan, and some ritual ceremonies. It is the most delightful taste that a person can wish for in cold weather.
Different types of Ash Reshteh:
There are more than 50 kinds of Ash in Persian cuisine. However, Ash Reshteh is referred to as the only Ash that contains noodles. Sometimes, they change the herbs. For instance, it is typical to add tarragon instead of leek, but that doesn’t make a big difference in the final taste. Because the main herbs in Aush Reshteh are spinach and cilantro.
Ash Reshteh has 115 kcal per 100 gr. It has a notable amount of 47 gr water and the right amount of carbohydrates because of noodles, about 14 gr per 100 gr. The herbs are an excellent source for fiber, and grains are full of proteins. Kashk contains a high percentage of calcium that improves bone health. It has almost every vitamins and mineral. Vitamin B4 and vitamin C are the most conspicuous vitamins in this Ash. Iranians first choice for food while catching a cold or flu is Ash Reshte. What a wise choice! Low calories and high vitamins and minerals.
Except for the gravy, all ingredients of this food have vegetable sources. For a vegetarian Ash Reshteh recipe, you need to replace the gravy with water and some vegetable oil. Moreover, if you are a vegan, you need to use vegetarian yogurt instead of Kashk.
Iranians serve Ash Reshteh as a main course or as an appetizer. It is a wise choice for a low-calorie dinner. It is usually served in casual parties. However, it is possible to find it in fancy restaurants and even in some fast-food restaurants these days. If it is served as a main course, nothing else is served with Ash. But if you are serving it as an appetizer, you’d better choose a light main course. In Ramadan and Iftar tables Sabzi Khordan, bread and cheese, and some other sweet items accompany Aush Reshteh.
What are the ingredients of Ash Reshteh?
The main ingredients of Ash Reshteh are herbs, gravy, and grains. Herbs including spinach, cilantro, dill, parsley, and leeks. In some recipes, they add scallion’s green stems or tarragon instead of leek. The grains of this Ash include lentils, white beans, peas, and pinto beans.
The garnish that completes the taste of this Ash is Kashk. An Iranian specific dairy which is made by yogurt. Kashk is available in 2 liquid and dried forms. If you are using dried Kashk you should soak them for some hours. Kashk is available in most middle eastern markets. However, if you cannot find Kashk, you can use Greek yogurt instead. Another primary ingredient is Reshteh. A hot sauce made out of oil, dried mint, and fried caramelized onions comes as topping on the Ash. All these combinations create this masterpiece.
Cooking process of Ash Reshteh:
To cook Ash Reshteh, you need gravy or chicken stock. So, if you don’t have some ready, the first step would be cooking some meat and extracting the stock. Then you need to cook the grains in water. For making a better-tasting Ash with less bloating it is better to soak the grains before cooking for some time. You need to clean and wash the herbs and then chop them well.
Other ingredients you require to add are onions, dried mint, and butter, or oil.
You should mix the cooked grains and herbs with gravy and cook them together. After some time you add noodles and let them brew in the Ash. Therefore your Ash becomes ready and thick. Kashk, fried onions, and a unique sauce are added after cooking and while serving.
This Recipe is adequate for four people as a main course. The preparation time is about 3 hours, including the grains soaking time and extracting the gravy or chicken stock. The cooking time is 3 hours.
- 2 lb Herbs including ½ lb spinach. ½ lb cilantro, ⅓ lb parsley, ⅓ lb leeks and ⅓ lb dills
- ½ cup peas
- ½ cup white beans
- ½ cup lentils
- ½ cup pinto beans
- ½ lb Reshteh
- 1½ cup Kashk
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 oz butter
- 4 cup gravy or chicken stock
- 4 cup of water
- Mashed garlic optional
- Soak the grains separately for 3 hours
- Dice half of the onion and fry it with half of butter
- Add peas and beans to onions and cook them with water
- After 1-2 hour that grains are cooked add lentils
- Add gravy
- Chop the herbs thoroughly and add them to the combination
- After one hour add Reshteh (consider cutting if they are longer than 6 inches) and let them brew in the Ash (for about 20 minutes)
- Add 1 tablespoon mint
- Taste food and add salt as needed
- Slice the onion and fry it with garlic
- Pour the rest of butter into a pan and add one tablespoon mint and saute it
- Pout the Ash into a bowl
- Add Kashk
- Add fried onions, garlic, and fried mint
- Adding a pinch of caraway seed to grains while cooking prevents bloating
- The Reshteh is ready and brewed whenever it becomes bigger
- The more chicken stock you use, the more delicious your Ash becomes
- You can use oil instead of butter
- You can use tarragon instead of leeks