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Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Persian پارسی, Food, Recipes, Āsh آش - Soups سوپ | 0 comments

Ash-e Miveh (Dried Fruit Porridge)

Ash-e Miveh (Dried Fruit Porridge)

This is a recipe that most Persians may not be familiar with. I had  it for the first time at a relatives’s (cousin Shahla) house during summer break in Tabriz. As a kid, I was reluctant about mixing my fun snacks and sweets with pungent herb flavors, but this ash (thick Persian soup) completely blew me away. Maman made it again some years later, but I really wished she’d make it more often. Most traditional Persian households aren’t exactly democratic and kids ate whatever mom had painstakingly prepared for them, contrasting most Western families I see today, where parents bend over backwards to appease their kids’ every whim.
I remember sitting at our dinner table once and complaining about the food Maman had made for us. My dad wisely and assertively told me, “since we didn’t partake in cooking and other kitchen duties, we have no right to make demands or criticize.” That stuck with me over the years, and I learned to appreciate the food that someone else had so patiently and lovingly prepared for me.
I am sure you will enjoy this Ash. The dried fruit twist and the sweet and tangy flavors make this soup ideal for a transition to spring.

Ingredients (serves 4):

Broth

  • 1 med-large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly black ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas
  • oil/butter
  • 10 cups hot water
  • 1-1.5 cup parsley, stems removed & chopped  ~ 1 bunch
  • 1-1.5 cup cilantro, stems removed & chopped ~ 1 bunch
  • 1 cup green onions, bulbs removed & chopped ~ 1 bunch
  • 1/2 cup beet leaves, chopped *optional
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped OR 1 Tbs dried (shop for Middle Eastern mint, peppermint or spearmint are a poor substitute)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 cup dried pitted prunes
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Meatballs

  • 1 onion, peeled & grated/pulsed in food processor
  • 1 lb ground lamb or beef
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

Time~     1.5 hr
Instructions:

Meatballs:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients. Knead lightly with your hand. Shape into meatballs the size of walnuts. Set aside.

Broth:

  1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, saute the onion in enough oil/butter ’till translucent (~10 min). Lower heat and continue’till browned or caramelized (~10-15 min). Add in minced garlic and cook longer (1-2 min). Stir in the turmeric ’till fragrant (1 min). Use more oil or a bit of water to keep the spices from burning.
  2. Add salt & pepper and split peas. Give it a quick stir.
  3. Gently place the meatballs in the pot and lightly brown on all sides (~5 min).
  4. Pour in the hot water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add in the prepared herbs and rice. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Mix in the prunes, apricots, and walnuts. Partially cover and simmer on low heat, for another 20 minutes.
  7. In a small  bowl mix in the vinegar and sugar. Add to the broth.
  8. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes for the flavors to come together.
  9. Check seasoning and adjust sugar or vinegar to your liking. Simmer uncovered for a bit  longer, if need.
  10. ladle into individual bowls and serve.

Nooshe jaan.

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