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Posted by on Jan 6, 2013 in Persian پارسی, Food, Recipes, Āsh آش - Soups سوپ | 0 comments

Ash-e Tabrizi (Tabrizi Chowder)

Ash-e Tabrizi (Tabrizi Chowder)

Ash آش, pronounced Osh (as in Oshkosh), is a thick soup with some grains, legumes, herbs (well of course), and meat. Today’s Ash is from the city of Tabriz تبریز , situated among the mountains, in Northwest of Iran. It has cold and snowy winters with temperate summers, making it ideal for a summer resort, much like my current state home, Montana.

tabbI spent all my childhood summers in Tabriz, since both my parents are from there originally, and remember my mom dragging me, store to store, through the Tabriz Historic Bazaar (pic shown). The prominent language in this city is Turkish (Azeri dialect) and people are extremely hospitable. If you won’t take my word for it, listen to Molana:

Oh Sārbān, have camels’ cargo unloaded,
For Tabriz is neighborhood of the beloved.

Hala agar Zəhmət olmasa ghaza phishirikh. Turkish for, now if it’s not too much trouble we’ll cook.
This is an easy recipe and total time spend cooking is cut by half, if your chickpeas are soaked overnight and cooked beforehand. I usually have some cooked legumes stored in the freezer and ready to go. No need to pre-cook the rice. Persian cooking is very generous with mistakes so, put all worries aside and lose yourself in the cooking process.

Ingredients (serves 4):


  • 1 med. onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 med. garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked or at least soaked overnight
  • oil/butter & water
  • 1/2 cup rice, rinsed & soaked for at least 1/2 hr
  • 1 bunch parsley (~ 2 cups), hard stems removed & chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro (~ 2 cups),  hard stems removed & chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions (1 cup), bulbs removed & chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped OR 2-3 Tbs dried
  • Yogurt


  • 1/2 lb ground meat (beef, lamb, etc.)
  • 1 med. onion grated/pulsed finely in food processor
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper

Time~ Prep: 1 hr     Cook: 45-1 hr


  1. In a lrg pot, over med.-high heat, saute the thinly sliced onion in enough oil/butter ’til translucent (~10 min). Add the garlic and continue ’till cooked (~1-2 min).
  2. Stir in the 1/2 tsp turmeric ’till fragrant (~1 min). Use more oil or a bit of water to keep from burning. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  3. If your chickpeas are uncooked: add to the pot, cover with water (~ 6 cups), bring to a boil on high heat. Lower heat and let simmer for 1 hr.
    If chickpeas are cooked move onto the next step.
  4. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine all the meatball ingredients.Knead lightly with your hand. Shape into meatballs the size of walnuts.
  5. Gently drop the meatballs into the pot (containing ~5 cups water), allow to cook for 5-10 min.
  6. Mix in the rice, chopped vegetables. Add more water if necessary. Allow to cook for 1 hr on low heat. Stir often so the bottom does’t stick.
  7. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Once the Ash is ready, ladle into serving bowls, allow to cool a bit, before adding a dollop of yogurt. Stir and enjoy.

Buyurun Sham (Invitation to have dinner)

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