Ash Reshteh, The Persian Magic
In the cold nights of winter, Ash Reshteh can make your heart warm and fuzzy. However, for Iranians, this delicious Persian noodle soup is more than just a meal. Ash Reshteh is intertwined with the significant points in people’s lives more than any other dish. Ash Reshteh gathers people together and represents the value of family in Iranian culture.
Besides the delicious taste of Ash Reshteh, you can enjoy it more when you make it with your family. Iranians used to make this Persian noodle soup on fire in a big pot while having a picnic in nature. Then each member of the family helped to make Ash Reshteh, by cleaning and washing the herbs, gathering woods, and dicing onions. Finally, when the dish was ready, everyone used to sit around the fire, tell stories, laugh, and eat This amazing Persian Noodle soup.
People in Iran make Ash Reshteh on different occasions because it represents good fortune. At the end of a Persian year, in the middle of March, by making this food, Persians welcome the new year or Nowruz and wish for a great year to come. Also, Iranians make this Persian noodle soup, to say goodbye to their loved ones when they want to go on a long trip away from their family and home. Then, they distribute this Persian noodle soup among their neighbors and relatives to ask them for their blessings.
In religious ceremonies like Muharram, Ash Reshteh is a popular food to make and distribute among as many people as possible. Every Iranian has the memory of hearing the doorbell, answering the door, and receiving a bowl of Persian noodle soup with the topping of fried mint and onion.
Once you try this Persian noodle soup, its unique taste will capture your heart and make you crave for more. So, let’s go through what we want to make this Persian noodle soup.
What Do You Need to Make Ash Reshteh?
Herbs: Iranians are a big fan of using herbs in their food. However, you should know which herb you need to use for each dish. For example, the combination of herbs in Ghormeh Sabzi is different from Ash Reshteh, which leads to a different aroma and taste.
For making Ash Reshteh, you need to use spinach, cilantro, leek, parsley, dill, and chives. About 100 gr of each herb would be sufficient for making Ash Reshteh for 4 people. All of the herbs are beneficial for your body and help in keeping it healthy. Although In ancient times, people used to use herbs as medicines to keep a wound from getting infected or stop its bleeding, now, you can have herbs in your daily diet to use their antioxidant effects and enjoy the lovely flavor and the color they give to your Persian noodle soup.
Persian noodle: Iranians call this specific type of noodle, Reshteh, which is slightly different from the regular ones. Reshteh is a flour-based noodle that makes Ash Reshteh unique and delightful. You can purchase it in Persian stores or use Italian noodles if you could not find it. Flour-based noodles like Reshteh are rich in fiber and protein, which helps to repair tissues and keep you healthy. The structure of Reshteh is in a way that absorbs water and oil, so using it in Ash Reshteh thickens your food and gives it more flavor.
Legumes: These perfect sources of protein make Ash Reshteh an excellent vegetarian meal. You need to use cranberry beans, brown lentils and chickpeas to gain the necessary protein of your body. Besides that, legumes are rich in amino acids and antioxidants, which prevent the risk of cancer.
In order to use any type of legume, remember to soak it for at least four hours and change their water a couple of times to make it cook better and digest easier.
Kashk (Whey Sauce): Kashk or whey sauce is a thick white dairy-based sauce used in many Persian dishes. Its salty and delicious flavor and the high calcium level in it are all we need for making Ash Reshteh taste creamy. Whey sauce will help your bones and joints stay healthy too.
Although you can find whey sauce in middle-eastern grocery shops, you are free to use thick yogurt if you like. Also, since Kashk is the only non-vegan ingredient in Ash Reshteh, using vegan yogurt can be a good replacement, or you can simply ignore it.
Fried Onion: You cannot make Ash Reshteh without adding fried onion to it. Having a bowl of Persian noodle soup with the topping of fried onion or as Iranians call it, “Piyaz Dagh” is like a bonus to make you happy.
Besides being super delicious, onion is a natural antibiotic that helps your immune system. Therefore, do not forget to use onion in your diet.
How to Make Ash Reshteh?
You can learn some tricks to make sure that you are making a delicious Ash Reshteh like an Iranian. However, it is more important to be adventurous and find the exact amount of ingredients that fit your taste.
How Do You Make Ash Reshteh?
Cook the soaked legumes in a quick cooker for an hour. Meanwhile, if you are using fresh herbs, you need to wash and dice them. If not, you only need to stir the diced herbs in a pot with a little oil and then add salt, pepper and turmeric to it.
Open the quick cooker, drain the legumes, and add them to the herbs. You can add two tablespoons of the fried onion to it as well. Then pour 4 cups of water into it. Then let it cook for 20 minutes.
Add the Persian noodles into the pot and cook it with other ingredients for another 10 to 15 minutes. Some people add 2 or 3 tablespoons of whey sauce to the pot along with a little vinegar, but it is totally optional.
Pour some oil in a pan and add the dried mint to it. You need to be quick with turning off the heat because the mint will burn very soon. Then, pick a gorgeous bowl to serve your Ash Reshteh in it and design it with whey sauce, fried onion, and mint.
How to Make Vegan Ash Reshteh?
Ash Reshteh is a vegan food itself, but adding whey sauce to it makes it vegetarian. Therefore, you can ignore the whey sauce or use thick vegan yogurt instead. You can try it with vinegar too!
Wash, dice and stir the herbs with some oil, then add spices to it.
Step Two: Cook the soaked legumes in a quick cooker for an hour and add it to the herbs. Then pour 4 cups of water to it.
Step Three: Add the Persian noodles 10 or 15 hours before serving Ash Reshteh. Meanwhile, stir dried mint in hot oil for less than a minute.
Step Four: Serve the Ash Reshteh in a bowl with Kashk(whey sauce) or vinegar, fried onion, and stirred mint. Enjoy!