Aash Dogha

Couple eating

Written by Delafrooz Yazdi

This is a typically Azeri aash with a subtle taste and aroma. It used to a staple dish for the cold winter months. The yogurt on offer in the supermarkets in the West in not sour enough for this recipe. I have used Greek style yogurt and added the juice of two lemons to replicate the taste I remembered.

1.5 litres of doogh, dilute 500 g of thick yogurt with enough water to make the quantity.
2 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 1.5 litres of water.
100 g split peas
150 g rice
2 level tbsp flour
25 g mint leaves
20 g chives
20 g basil leaves
50 g coriander leaves
70 g parsley leaves
70 g young spinach leaves
15 g tarragon leaves
150 g young white celery stalks and leaves.
Lemon juice
300 g mince meat
1 medium onion
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp turmeric

1. Wash and cook the split peas in cold water.
2. Wash the herbs and chop them.
3. Wash and chop the celery and leaves.
4. Peel and grate the onion. Squeeze to get rid of the excess juice.
5. Mix with the mince, turmeric, salt and pepper make into hazelnut size meatballs and fry in the oil.

Cooking instructions:
Mix the flour and rice in the doogh (diluted yogurt) and bring to boil while stirring to stop the doogh from splitting. When the rice is nearly cooked add the cooked split peas, chopped herbs and celery. Add the mini meatballs and half of the chicken stock and simmer. Stir frequently to stop the aash from catching to the bottom of the saucepan. Check the seasoning and add some lemon juice if the doogh is not astringent enough. Simmer until the aash thickens. Add more of the chicken stock as necessary. The end result should have the consistency of a thick vegetable soup. Some people only use the leaves and the white stalks of celery and no herbs. Decorate with dried mint lightly fried in melted butter.

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