Ashe Mast

I was supposed to see a movie with a friend last night, but we had to reschedule since it wasn’t showing at the right time. So I had the extra time to cook, which was good since I didn’t have a chance to cook anything all weekend!  I made two new Persian dishes, Ashe Mast (hot yogurt soup), and Cauliflower Kuku.

Ashe is the Persian word for “soup”. Ashe Mast is a soup made of yogurt, water and spices in which is boiled a few meatballs, rice and chickpeas. Actually, it’s not so much boiled as simmered over low heat, so that the yogurt doesn’t curdle. You definitely have to like yogurt for this one – if you do, this is a good creamy soup that’s much lower in fat than a typical Western “cream of ____” soup.

Ashe Mast
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, grated or chopped finely
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Mix these ingredients together well, then roll into small meatballs, set aside.

4 c. yogurt (I used half non-fat and half Greek)
1/4 c. brown or white basmati rice
1 egg
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 c. water

Mix together yogurt, rice, egg, flour and spices in a 4 qt. pot (I used nonstick so that I wouldn’t have to stir continually). Slowly bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly until it thickens somewhat. Add meatballs and simmer for another 10 minutes.

1/2 c. parsley, minced
1/4 c. chives or green onion, minced
1 tsp. dried dill
1/2 c. canned chickpeas, drained

Add the rest of these ingredients to the soup and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. **I just now noticed that the recipe also has a garnish listed at the end, similar to what I’ve made for ashe reshteh soup – a hot mint sauce. In this case, it was suggested to mince up 2 cloves garlic and saute them briefly, than add about 1 Tbsp. powdered dried mint. I’ll have to try that with the leftovers :)

Adapted from: “In a Persian Kitchen” by Maideh Mazda
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To go along with the soup, I made a cauliflower kuku. Early in the month, I made an herb kuku dish and this one was similar, kind of like a less eggy quiche. Delicious!

Cauliflower Kuku
1 head of cauliflower florets, chopped small
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a non-stick skillet, saute cauliflower, onion and garlic until lightly browned. Meanwhile, beat eggs with spices and baking powder until well mixed.

Pour 1/4 c. oil in a 9-inch glass pie pan, or similar-sized baking dish, and place into the preheated oven. Mix the cauliflower into the egg mixture and pour into pan with hot oil.  Bake for about 40 minutes, stopping in the middle to spoon oil over the top of the kuku to help it get golden brown.  Drain excess oil and serve hot or cold with yogurt and/or bread.

Adapted from: New Food of Life, by Najmieh Batmanglij

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One response to “Ashe Mast

  1. Pingback: Hosting a Persian dinner | Savor the World

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