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One of the Ash, hearty soup, that I fondly remember my grandma making is Asheh Mast.  My grandma was a wonderful cook and everything that she made was simply delicious.  I remember sitting in the kitchen and watching her cook when I was little and I can honestly say, I feel in love with food and cooking by simply being around her.

One of my biggest regrets in life is being separated from her at an early age when I left Iran.  I wished that I could have written down all of her recipes…

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Her name was Fakhri Iran, but to me she was simply  Maman Fakhri…she was truly a remarkable woman and when she was younger, she was definitely a glamorous lady!

When I decided that I wanted to make Asheh Mast I consulted a couple of cookbooks, asked a few people, and talked to my mom who told me how Maman Fakhri made this ash.  I got a whole bunch of different opinions. Some people use spinach in this ash, some people don’t….some people use mint, some people don’t…some people use lentils, some people don’t…some people use split peas, some people don’t….

In the end I decided that Maman Fakhri’s recipe had to be made on principal!!! My mom shared an interesting fact with me that I would have never guested or remembered. She said that my grandma used to make this ash with sheep liver.  I nearly fell off my chair when I heard that….

Ingredients

2 onions

4 cloves garlic

1/2 lb extra lean ground beef

1/2 cup chickpeas, dried

1/3 cup rice

1 bunch parsley, equivalent to 4 cups

1 bunch cilantro, equivalent to 3 cups

1 bunch mint, equivalent to 2 cups

1 bunch green onions or chives

1/4 + 1/8 tsp turmeric

yogurt

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This is a pretty easy ash to make. These few ingredients make up for a very delicious and hearty soup.

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Saute one of the onions and 3 garlic cloves until translucent. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric give it a stir. Then add chickpeas. Give them all another stir. Add 4 cups of water, a dash of salt, cover and cook for one hour.

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In the mean time, grate the second onion and one garlic clove. Place in a bowl and add 1/8 tsp turmeric, salt and pepper.

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Mix well together.  Add meat and mix it all well.

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Make meatballs with the meat mixture about the size of a cherry.

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Add rice to the beans along with 3 cup of water. Cook for 15 minutes longer.

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Rough chop your herbs.

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Add meatballs to the beans and rice.  Add salt & pepper to adjust seasoning.

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Add herbs cover and cook for 2 hours on  low. While cooking make sure to stir the pot every so often to make sure that the bottom doesn’t stick.  Further adjust seasoning if needed.

Once the Ash is ready you can either add 2 cups of yogurt to the pot or a dollop of yogurt to each  bowl.  If you are adding the yogurt to the pot, let it warm through gently making sure it does not boil.

This recipe made a nice pot full of ash. Remeber that you can always freeze the leftovers and eat them later!

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