125gchickpeas(soaked overnight in a bowl with the other beans and lentils plus tsp of salt)*
125gred kidney beans(soaked overnight in a bowl with the other beans and lentils plus tsp of salt)*
125ggreen lentils(soaked overnight in a bowl with the other beans and lentils plus tsp of salt)*
1large bunchfresh coriander(between 100 and 150 g)
1large bunchfresh parsley(between 100 and 150 g)
1large bunchfresh dill(between 100 and 150 g)
1bunch spring onions(green ends only)
3clovesgarlic(crushed or minced)
2litresvegetable stock(you can use water which is traditionally used but I like the extra depth of flavour stock brings to the dish)
150gPersian noodles - reshteh(you can use udon noodles, spaghetti or linguine as an alternative)
3tbspkashk(mine are heaped tablespoons - add 1 tbsp at a time and mix and taste each time to see what amount suits your tastes)
Salt and pepper(to taste)
For the garnish
1 to 2largeonions(finely sliced)
1tbspkashk(diluted with some water to make it runny for drizzling on the ash)
For the Ash
Soak your beans, lentils and chickpeas in a bowl of salted water overnight. The morning after, cook the beans and lentils in water by bringing to the boil and then simmering for 30 mins (this aids with making them digestible). Drain and leave to one side until you are ready to cook the Ash Reshteh.
Wash all the herbs, spinach and spring onions. Remove all the tough woody stems from the herbs and spinach. Cut the spring onions to remove the green ends for the Ash.
In batches, pulse the herbs, spinach and spring onion ends in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Place the greens in a bowl until you are ready to add to the Ash.
Take a large stockpot or equivalent and place on a medium / high heat. Add 3 tbsp of vegetable oil. After a minute or so add the finely diced onion and fry until it is tender and turning golden brown.
Add the garlic and turmeric and stir until evenly distributed and you can smell the aroma.
Drain the bean and lentil mixture and add to the stockpot. Cook for about a minute, stirring gently to coat with the onions, oil and spice.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to allow the beans to simmer. Place the lid on the pot and cook for approximately 30 mins to 1 hr. Skim off any foam which may rise to the top and stir now and again. To check if the bean mixture is cooked test a chickpea, as they take the longest to cook. The chickpea should be tender with no grainy or chalky texture to it.
Once the bean mixture is cooked, add the chopped greens and allow the Ash to simmer for about 30 mins for the greens to wilt. If the Ash is too thick after the greens have wilted, add some water. The texture of the Ash should be thicker than soup like a chilli but not so thick it feels like there is no liquid in it.
Then add the noodles - you can snap these to the length you desire. I like mine fairly long so I snap mine in half, if at all. Allow the Ash to cook with the noodles for about 20 to 30 mins. Test a noodle to see if cooked to you preferred texture - we tend to have ours very soft.
Then add the kashk 1 spoonful at a time and mix it fully into the Ash. Taste as you go along. Some put less kashk into their Ash and add more to their liking by way of a garnish.
As kashk is salty, add any extra salt to your taste and a generous amount of pepper. Then give the Ash a gentle stir and simmer on a low heat until it is evenly heated through.
For the Garnish
You can prepare the mint oil and fried onions in advance of / or during the cooking of the Ash.
For the mint oil - place a frying pan on a low heat and add 2 tbsp of oil and 2 tsp of dried mint and let the mixture heat through for only 1 minute. Then pour it out into a bowl and set aside for when you are ready to garnish the Ash.
For the fried onions - wipe the frying pan used to make the mint oil and place it on a medium heat. Add the remaining oil and let it heat through for about 1 minute. Then add the finely sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly until it turns golden brown and caramelized - about 20 mins. Place the onions on a paper towel to absorb the oil and set aside for when you are ready to garnish the Ash.
When you are ready to serve, ladle into bowls, drizzle with some of the diluted kashk, the mint oil and a sprinkling of onions.
*You can use pre cooked tinned beans and lentils. Use 1 x 400 gram tin of each.