(Persia Digest) – Ash-e torsh, or sour potage, is a traditional dish of Mazandaran, northern Iran, which was traditionally cooked on Chaharshanbeh-Souri – a bonfire night celebrated on the last Tuesday of the Iranian year just before Nowruz. This āsh, or a thick potage of legumes and herbs, has a sour-sweet taste and has come to be known as Ash-e torsh [torsh=sour in Persian]. In the older recipes, forty different herbs and vegetables were used and it was cooked as a healing recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 Cup broad beans

1 Cup pinto beans

1 Cup lentils

½ Cup rice

1 Cup chopped garlic

2 beetroots

400g Ash herbs (parsley, chives, coriander, spinach)

Sugar and pomegranate paste to taste


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Soak the legumes (broad beans, pinto beans, lentils) the night before in separate bowls and change the water a few times. Peel and dice the beets. Wash, dry, and chop the herbs.

Fill a large pan with water and add the legumes and diced beet. Place on low heat and allow to simmer until the legumes are cooked. Add the washed rice and allow to simmer another 15 minutes; then, add the chopped herbs and lower the heat. Allow to simmer until all the ingredients are well cooked.

Sauté the garlic in some oil and salt until golden. When the āsh is ready, add a few spoonful of sugar, pomegranate paste, and half the garlic. Let simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve in a bowl and garnish with the rest of the fried garlic.

The amount of sugar and pomegranate in this dish depends on personal taste. Enough must be added to give it a sour-sweet taste.

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