Aash-e Mash – Mung beans and herbs soup

Here is another great entry in the long line of Aashes – thick, hearty soups – in Persian cuisine. Much like others in the series, this Aash incorporates an abundance of fresh herbs, Kashk, a Persian whey sauce, along with crispy garlic, caramelized onions, and the aromatic mint sauce!

Though the main ingredient for this Aash is the mung bean, the turnip is the true star. Persians have a long history of love affairs with turnips! To be more accurate, Persian moms have a long history of forcing their children to eat, drink, and breathe turnip in its various forms for its health benefits!

Ask an Iranian mother and she will eagerly tell you all about the healing powers of the turnip. These range from curing the common cold to purifying and cleansing your lungs by breathing steamed turnip vapors! For more fun facts about this and other Persian remedies check out my friend’s blog.

If you are new to my blog and have not heard me go on and on about Aash, their history and their significance in the Persian culture and cuisine, here is a quick recap:

Aash has always been front and center of Persian cuisine. This is a Farsi term used to describe a thick style of soup that often combines a variety of beans, grains, sometimes noodles, herbs, spices and meat. 

There are nearly 50 varieties of Aash. Aash RestehAash Jow and Aash Sholeh Ghalamkar top the list, followed by less recognized and more regional Aash dishes.

Farsi Lesson:

To highlight the significance of Aash in Persian cuisine, we need to have a little bit of a Farsi lesson.

In old spoken Farsi, the word Aash didn’t refer specifically to this thick soup or stew; it meant any prepared food. The word Pazi that comes from the verb Pokhtan, which means to cook. Putting them together, Aash-Pazi means cooking, and Aash-Paz means a cook or a chef.

And get this, the word for kitchen in Farsi in Aash-Paz-Khaneh, which translates to the home of a cook or the home where Aash is cooked!

Your humble Aash-Paz, from his Seattle Aashpazkhaneh, Omid!

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Aash-e Mash

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Mung beans and fresh herbs soup
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Aash, Main Course
Cuisine Iranian, Persian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 2 medium turnips, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup mung beans, dried
  • 9 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, adjust as necessary
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 2 bunches fresh dill, about 1 cup, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium leek, finely chopped. Or 6 tablespoons dried Persian Tarreh (leeks)
  • 1/2 cup fresh tarragon, roughly chopped. Or 3 tablespoons dried
  • 1/2 cup fresh savory, roughly chopped. Or 3 tablespoons dried

Toppings

  • 2-4 tablespoons Kashk, Persian prepared liquid whey

Piaz Daagh (fried onion)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch salt

Seer Daagh (fried garlic)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Na’nah Daagh (fried mint)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Persian mint

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot saute the onion with the olive oil for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • Add turmeric and turnips and toss around for a couple of minutes for the turnip to become golden.
  • Add the mung beans and the water or stock, and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the flame, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, bring back to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes or until the mung beans are fully cooked and have softened. The soup texture should be dense with ingredients with just a little broth. Adjust consistency as necessary by adding water or cooking more without a lid.

Toppings

  • While the Aash is cooking, prepare the toppings

Piaz Daagh (fried onion)

  • In a medium sized frying pan, saute the onions with olive oil for 15 minutes over low heat until they are golden in color. Add salt, stir and remove from the pan.

Seer Daagh (fried garlic)

  • In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and begin sauteing the garlic over low flame for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Take extra care not to burn the garlic. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Na'nah Daagh (fried mint)

  • In the same saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the mint and saute on low heat for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Assembly

  • Serve the Aash in a soup bowl and decorate the Aash with Kashk, onions, garlic and mint.

Notes

Kashk can be eliminated to make this dish vegan. 
Keyword Aash, fresh herbs, kashk, mung beans, whey
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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Your recipes are really delicious with beautiful presentations.

    1. Thank you Rozina jaan, you are so kind! I really appreciate it!

      1. My pleasure. ✨✨🌻😊

  2. Debbie says:

    Looks very delicious. But where’s the mast? Didn’t see it in the ingredients.

    1. Hi Debbie, this is Aash Mash (mung beans), so I don’t use yogurt for this dish. I do use Kashk as a garnish on top and if you would like you can use yogurt instead.

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