The one thing about many of the Iranian soups that is overwhelming, not to mention the Norouz meal itself, is the cleaning and chopping of the herbs. Many people bypass this process by using dried herbs. In recent years Persian markets have been carrying packages of frozen herbs. While these are very convenient and shorten the amount of labor, I have a couple of issues with them. My first issue is that they cost too much for what you get. I get the commodity part, I really do. But I find it hard to shell out anywhere from $6 to $9 per package. At times, more than one package is needed and that drives up the price even more. The second issue that I have is the ratio of the herbs. It’s hard to know how much of each herb is included in the mix and that makes a difference taste wise.
Three years ago I posted a tutorial on what to do with leftover herbs. This year I am posting a tutorial on how to create your own packages of fresh herbs for your own recipes and save a whole lot of money in the process. This tips comes in very handy as well when planning ahead for large Norouz parties.
The bundle of herbs that you see in the above picture came from my local Persian store. I spent about $11 for the following: 5 bunches of parsley, 5 bunches of cilantro, 3 bunches of mint, and 4 bunches of chives.
First strip all leaves from stems. Before washing, combine herbs according to desired recipe. The above combination is for Asheh Reshteh.
Allow herbs to dry.
Chop all leafy herbs.
Wash and chop chives separately from leafy herbs. Add to the mix after chopping.
Write the name of the recipe on a Ziploc bag and fill with herbs. Remove as much air as possible and place in the freezer until needed.
Here is a great tip for the upcoming Norouz. Every year we have a party to celebrate the arrival of our new year. Our guest list will fluctuate from having 20 guest and it has gone up for about 45. The days leading up the party are always super stressful because of all the herbs that need to be cleaned for the Sabzi Polow, Kuku Sabzi, and Asheh Reshteh. This year I got smart and prepared ahead for the soup and kuku because I am OK with using my own cut and packaged frozen herbs.
I created two packages for the Asheh Reshteh as they are cooked in our two crockpots. I also made a package for the Kuku Sabzi, where I multiplied my recipe by seven. The only herbs missing for the kuku is dill, which I forgot to purchase.