As we move into the new year 2009, i would like to express how great it is to turn the corner with you. And as an expression of my gratitude i would like to share a piece of my kitchen with you. This is a traditional Persian stew, made with a combination of greens, beans, noodles, and the traditional sour cream "kashk". The undertaking is no easy affair. But let that not deter you. To make it easier, i have included possible substitutions for some of the ingredients, i encourage any questions regarding this dish or feed back as to how you make your ash e reshteh.
Ash e Reshteh.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large onions, peeled and sliced thin
7 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/3 cup dried red kidney beans,
1/3 cup dried chickpeas
1/3 cup dried navy beans (wash, and let the beans soak over night)
1 cup of brown lentils
4 cups of beef broth, (substitute for Veg broth to make this Vegitarian)
1/2 pound of reshteh, persian noodles (can be replaced with any lenguine size rice noodle)
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup coarsley chopped scallions
1 cup of chopped dill
2 cups coarsley chopped parsley
7 cups, of spinach (two bunches)
1 fresh beet peeled and diced in 1/2 cubes
2 cups Kashk, can be found as liquid whey (replace with sour cream)
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp of dried mint flakes
now lets begin cooking:
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, and i mean Large, pot... saute the onions and garlic. remember cooking is fun. Add salt, pepper, and turmeric. Add kidney,navy, and garbonzo (chick peas); saute that for a few minutes.
2. Pour in ten cups of water and bring it to a boil, skim the froth as it foams, and reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 min.
3. add lentils and beef (or veg) broth, cook for an hour
4. add noodles and flour,add some olive oil, and cook for about ten minutes.
5. Greens time...add scallions (or chives), dill, parsley, spinach and the beet. Continue cooking, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes or until beans are tender. Add water to cut the thickness, and season with salt and pepper to taste. by this point you understand why it took me two days to make this dish. Have some one help you, it will make the cooking more enjoyable. but i am afraid it still would require two days.
6. stir in the 1 & 1/2cups of Kashk (or sour cream), this i hope is a good time to sing a song about the glory of the wooden spoon.... nice, we are almost there.
Making the Garnish:
Saute the onion and garlic with the oil and turmeric. Once the roots have caramelized, gather them over your ash, add extra sour cream, and sprinkle an abundance of dried mint leaves over everything.
Noush e jahn-et (Nourish your soul)