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Mastering Persian Cooking 127

I learned this very simple and tasty ash from my mother-in-law. This ash tastes the best with chicken legs, but since I didn’t have any on hand, I used my homemade chicken stock. You can use the store-bought vegetarian or chicken stock or simply toss in a few pieces of chicken legs with the ingredients and let them all cook together. Just remember the plums have pits.

Ash Aloo Esfenaj (Prune and Spinach Soup)

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour and 45 min
Yields: 6 Servings


1 large onion chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup yellow split peas rinsed
½ cup basmati rice rinsed
3 pounds fresh spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
1½ cups aloo bukhara
7 to 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock


Heat oil in a medium stockpot. Add onions and sauté over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in salt, pepper and turmeric. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and cook for one hour.

Taste and adjust the seasoning and cook for 30 more minutes or until the ash comes together. Add more stock, if needed.