Tehran (IP)- Ash-e Reshteh’s flavor is defined by two uniquely Persian ingredients: reshteh and kashk (Curd). The Stew is served during the festivities leading up to Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

 Iran Press/ Iran News: The Ash Reshteh served during the festivities leading up to Nowruz, the Persian New Year, wouldn’t be the same without the soup noodles called reshteh, which are saltier and starchier than Italian noodles — though you could substitute linguine in a pinch.

Kashk (Curd), a form of drained yogurt is saltier and sourer than Greek yogurt or sour cream.

More like feta than yogurt, liquid Curd gives ash its distinct, satisfying flavor. If you can’t find liquid Curd, buy it powdered and hydrate it with warm water to the consistency of sour cream. Look for both items at a Middle Eastern grocery, the food does not belong to any special region so, it is cooked in every part of Iran.

Here are the ingredients:

1⁄2 cup canola oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

1⁄2 cup each dried kidney and cannellini beans, chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained

1 1⁄2 tbsp. ground turmeric

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 cups chopped spinach

1 cup chopped parsley

1⁄2 cup brown lentils

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

2 cups reshteh or dried linguini

8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 tbsp. dried mint

1⁄4 cup powdered whey (optional; see recipe, mixed with 4 tbsp. water)

Instructions are also as follows:

The night before you plan to cook, place chickpeas and white beans in a medium bowl. Add a generous pinch of salt and 2 cups of water. Refrigerate overnight.

The night before or just before cooking, prepare the herbs and greens: Wash spinach, cilantro, and parsley, then use a salad spinner to dry very well. Run a knife through the spinach to cut leaves into large pieces. Trim the woody ends from cilantro, parsley, and dill so that only leaves and tender stems remain. Roughly chop cilantro, parsley, dill, chives, and mint leaves into pieces no larger than a quarter. If preparing ahead of time, wrap chopped greens and herbs in plastic bags and refrigerate overnight.

To cook, set a large (at least 10-quart) Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chopped onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly until the onion is tender and golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Drain the beans and add to onion along with the lentils, turmeric and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the beans with oil and spices. Add the chopped spinach and herbs, along with stock or water, and stir to combine. Partly cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer the soup for 1 hour, stirring regularly to prevent the greens from sticking and burning. If the soup remains very thick even after the greens have wilted, add another 1 to 2 cups water, as needed to thin it.

Place 1 1/2 cups, Curd, in a medium bowl. Add a ladle or two of hot soup and whisk to dissolve, then add the mixture to the pot. The Curd will change the color of the soup from bright to milky green. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then break the noodles in half and add to the pot. Stir gently to mix in the noodles and keep them from sticking together, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until noodles are soft and chewy and the beans are completely tender for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the garnishes: Set a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil shimmers, add sliced onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until golden brown and caramelized 16 to 18 minutes. Spread cooked onion onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil; let cool. Wipeout pan and return to medium heat. Add remaining 1/3 cup oil and warm gently over low heat, then stir in dried mint and remove from heat. Set mint oil aside and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes.

Place remaining 1/2 cup Curd in a small bowl and thin out with a few tablespoons of water until it’s the texture of thin yogurt. Set aside.

The soup should be as thick as a hearty chili. If it’s any thicker, thin it with water, 1/2 cup at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt as needed, accounting for the fact that both the noodles and the Curd are well salted.

To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Drizzle with reserved Curd and mint oil, then top with a sprinkling of golden onions or garlic.

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Iranian Noodle Stew  (Ash-e Reshteh) indulges anyone during wintery days
Iranian Noodle Stew  (Ash-e Reshteh) indulges anyone during wintery days
Iranian Noodle Stew  (Ash-e Reshteh) indulges anyone during wintery days
Iranian Noodle Stew  (Ash-e Reshteh) indulges anyone during wintery days