What looks like a soup or a stew, but is neither? It is an Aash!
Aash has always been front and center in Persian cuisine. This is a Persian term used to describe a thick style of soup that often combines a variety of beans, grains, sometimes noodles, herbs, spices and meat.
This Aash definitely packs a ton of flavors into a surprisingly simple vegetarian dish. The usual suspects in this Aash are Sabzi (fresh herbs in Farsi), and sprinkled on top fried dried mint leaves and caramelized onions.
This is Aash Reshteh, one of the most popular and well-loved members of the Aash family, which has nearly 50 varieties. Aash is a Persian term used to describe a very thick style of soup.
Important ingredients for this dish are heaping amounts of herbs and various beans, but the signature ingredients are Kashk and Reshteh. Kashk is liquid whey derived from yogurt, and Reshteh is a noodle which has an appearance that’s reminiscent of linguine but a very different flavor profile.
Kashk is a full-fat yogurt that is cooked with water until most of the liquid is evaporated and then strained through a cheesecloth. The pulp is then rehydrated with some water and salt to create a reasonably thick sauce-like consistency. The end result is pure umami: a little salt, a lot of tang and a whole lot of flavor! In Persian cuisine, Kashk is either blended into dishes or quite often drizzled on top of them.
Among all the eggplant spreads in the world, Kashk Bademjoon is unique! In this Persian dish the eggplant is the star, taking center stage with an up-and-coming co-headliner, Kashk. Kashk is most often referred to as liquid whey: tart, aromatic and salty, bringing a deep umami experience to the dish.
Name a culture, and it has a version of eggplant spread. Baba Ghanoush (Middle Eastern), Baklazhannaia Ikra (Slavic), Melitzanosalata (Greek), Mirza Ghasemi (another Iranian one), and the list goes on . . .