I've let many winters and pomegranate seasons go by without writing about آش انار ash-e anar. However, this time as I watch the icy snowflakes rapidly hit the windows and pile up all around the house I'm thinking it's time to post a recipe for this hearty and tasty ash-e anar. The idea of making warm ash on a cold day or when you feel a little under the weather and need a pick-me-up was passed down to me by my mother. I make ash reshteh all the time and chances are if you open my refrigerator you'll find a bowl tucked in somewhere. Not to mention, after all these years living in America, it's only recently that I've been finding large, ruby-red, juicy pomegranates in the market by where I live.
You can make this soup with brown or green lentils if you are not a fan of yellow split peas. If you choose to use لپه lapeh (yellow split peas) I would suggest boiling them for 7-10 minutes on medium heat, remove any of the foam that comes to the surface, drain and then add to the stew. When making the کوفته قلقلی koofteh ghelgheli -mini meatballs try to make them as tiny as possible. They should be easily scooped up by a tablespoon. If you find the recipe a little sour you can add a little sugar to the stew. This recipe serves 6-8 people but if you want to make less you can easily cut the recipe in half. And I think you should definitely serve this ash with نعنا داغ nana dagh - fried dried mint and oil mixture.
Ash-e Anar - Pomegranate Soup
1 pound ground meat (lamb, beef, or turkey)
1 cup rice, rinse well, drain
1/2 cup yellow split peas, rinse well
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch parsley, remove the stems, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 bunch scallion, green parts only, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, more if you like
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dried mint
2-3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- Combine the yellow split peas and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming the foam from the surface, lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the onion and cook until golden brown, add the minced garlic, saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, stir well.
- Add the rice, split peas, and 8 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes with the lid slightly ajar, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, combine the meat with 2-3 tablespoons of the chopped vegetables, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Take a small piece of meat mixture and form it into meatballs. Continue shaping until all the meat is used.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the meatballs until brown on all sides.
- Add the meatballs, pomegranate molasses, chopped vegetables, salt, and pepper to the pot. cover and simmer on low heat for another 30-40 minutes.
- In a small pot, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, add a pinch of turmeric and 2 tablespoons of dried mint, stir and remove from stove.