Friday, 2 August 2013

Aash-e Reshteh - آش رشته - Noodle Soup

Every year, my dear Ammeh Paree (عمه جان پریaunt) cooked our annual aash and most relatives, neighbours and friends dropped by to have some aash.  She spent days sourcing the best ingredients then spent an entire day cooking it and getting it ready by early evening.  Her aash was cooked in a giant pot with plenty of lamb shanks for extra richness and flavour.  This massive cooking operation was a summer event for the whole family with the purpose of not only uniting the family but to share food with the rest of the neighbourhood. 

We could smell her aash from a distance as we walked towards her house and it was the aroma of utter perfection.  By early evening, absolutely everyone was welcomed to join the family to have a bowl of heavenly aash and for those who didn't live in the neighbourhood or were too shy to come, aash had to be delivered.  Aash was poured into bowls and garnished with Kashk and lots of crunchy fried onion and garlic slices waiting to be delivered.  Ammeh and Dade-Bajee made sure that the poor, the elderly and the sick received some nourishing aash and the rest was shared among the family.  Every time, we had a large family gathering involving plenty of food, some food was shared with neighbours and friends.  We constantly saw this act of sharing food with others and became the norm for us.  

We were truly blessed and consider ourselves very lucky to have experienced such heart warming acts of kindness and generosity, and were surrounded by numerous kindhearted people.  Nowadays the forms of charity and generosity have changed but the concept remains the same.  

The poor in your midst are My trust; 
guard ye My trust, 
and be not intent only on your own ease.

 فقرا امانت منند در ميان شما.
 پس امانت مرا درست حفظ نمائيد
و براحت نفس خود تمام نپردازيد.

The word Aash (or Ash) has a Turkish origin and later, it evolved into Ashpaz (آشپز, cook) and Ashpazkhaneh (آشپز خانه, kitchen).  Aash-e Reshteh (آش رشته) or as my European friends call it "Persian noodle soup" is a hearty soup made with legumes, herbs and reshteh (dried noodles primarily made of water, flour and salt).  Reshteh is believed to resemble threads of life and a sign of good fortune. This aash is associated with special occasions such as New Year's meal, funerals, nazri (نذری, charitable deed of sharing food with the poor) and when embarking on a new path.  A bowl of aash is always garnished with fried onion slices and garlic flakes, dried mint and kashk (کشک, kashk is a thick whitish liquid similar to whey).  Aash reshteh is a stable food in every Persian household.  It thickens when reshteh is added and always tastes better the next day.  You can find reshteh in most Persian stores but some Asian style noodles such as; egg noodles is a good substitute (noodles must hold its shape after cooking).

Here is a recipe for you to try.

1 large or 2 small lamb shanks
1 large onion sliced
Oil for cooking
1/3 cup chickpea soaked overnight
1/3 cup red kidney beans soaked overnight
1/2 cup lentils
1 large bunch of spinach roughly chopped
1 bunch coriander chopped
1/2 bunch parsley chopped
80g Reshteh
1 tablespoon flour mixed with 1 cup of water
8 to 10 cups of water

For Garnish:
2 large onions sliced
5 to 7 clove garlic crushed
1 1/2 tablespoon dried mint
1/2 tablespoon Turmeric
Kashk (or Greek yoghurt, sour cream or mixture of both)
Oil for fying
Salt and pepper


1.                  In a large pot heat the oil and saute the onion. 
2.                  Drain and rinse the beans, chickpeas and lentils.
3.                  Add beans, chickpeas, lentils and the lamb shank to the pot.  
4.                  Add water and bring to the boil, cover and cook over medium heat for               
about 45 minutes. 
5.                  Add the herbs to the pot and cook for 20 minutes. 
6.                  In a fry pan heat generous amount of oil. 
7.                  Saute the onion until translucent add garlic and turmeric, when it turns golden, stir in the dried mint and remove form the heat.
8.                  Add half of the fried onion mixture, reshteh, seasoning and the flour mixture to the pot and cook for further 20 minutes or until reshteh is cooked and aash is thickened to your liking. If aash is too thick add a little hot water.
9.                  Serve warm with dollops of kashk and garnish.

Noosh-e Jaan!

We leave you with a photo of Miss 4 who believes aash is the most amazing food ever created.  Miss 4 is able to pronounce the word aash with thick Persian accent and often declares "aash is the best".  Her demands for aash is a reminder of our happy days surrounded with plenty of love and sound of laughter eating ammeh Paree's aash around the giant pot and still knowing that no one else's aash is better than hers! 


  1. به به معلومه که حسابی زمستون دارید سوزان جون :)))
    نوش جونتون عزیزم ، و جدی جدی خیلی میچسبه ، شما اش رو تهیه کردی ما هم کشکش رو :))))))))

    راستی عزیزم کاش این پسورد کامنت هاتون رو بردارید ، چون من گاهی ٤ تا ٥ بار باید کد بدم تا موفق به ثبتش شم :)))

    1. میگن دل به دل راه داره عزیزم

      پا شو با کا سه‌ کشکت بیا اینجا.
      از شانس من کسی در منزل ما کشک دوست نداره هر وقت درست می‌کنم فقط خودم میخورم

      بله ما زمستان خیلی‌ ملا یمی داشتیم خدا کنه تابستان زیاد گرم نشه

      ببخشید من فکر نمیکردم مشکل پسورد باشه حتماً سعی‌ می‌کنم درست کنم

  2. Miss 4 is too cute - great pic.
    And this ash is my fav, too. I can't wait to try your recipe.

  3. This is a very flavourful aash-e reshteh.

    My Miss 4 loves any kind of aash specially this aash. I think it's because of noodles. :)