Pomegranate soup or Aash-e-Anar is an Iranian soup made using rice,lentils ,optional beet,traditionally meat balls and obviously pomegranate juice.I had bookmarked this soup from Asha's Blog where she had made the soup from a book named same by Marsha Mehran and had obtained the recipe from the same book.I was actually about to post it for T&T:Foodieshope but when the same book was chosen for BookClub I decided to read the boook and then post the same.But as Luck would have it,I couldn't gethold of the book,but still Thanks to Simran, I am posting it.Apart from Asha's recipe which I followed ,I also referenced here and made addition of Paprika substituting Aleppo Pepper,but avoided the koftas or meat balls as I felt it would be too much,but traditionally the dish is served as a one-pot meal.
Olive oil: 1+ tbsp
Onion: 1 small chopped finely
Garlic: 1-2 cloves minced or chopped finely
Moong Dal (Yellow split Peas): 2-3 tbsp
Basmati Rice: 4 tbsp
Beetroot: 1 medium slice (2-3 tbsp)Peeled and finely chopped/grated
Fresh Herbs: Parsley+mint+Cilantro 3 tbsp each (I avoided parsley and increased mint)
Spring Onions: 1-2 tbsp (I did not add)
Fresh Pom Juice:1 cup+
Sugar: 1 tsp
Angelica Powder: 2 tbsp (I did not add any)
Optional spices: as per taste
Heat olive oil in a deep pan,saute the onions and garlic till they turn brown.Add the washed and picked lentils and rice and saute till oil coats each grain and then add chopped beet,salt,turmeric powder,pepper and paprika and water required to cook the grains.Mix well and bring it to a boil.Cover,reduce heat and let it simmer till half done for 20 minutes.
Once half done add finely chopped herbs,pom juice,pinch of sugar and angelica powder / cumin powder+chiliflakes. You can add uncooked kofta balls to it while adding the pom juiceCook till the grains are cooked well and the soup thickens to a required consistency.It thickens itself after sometime.
The taste was much better than expected.I was clueless about the taste and thats the reason why I wanted to try this recipe.The little similar the taste comes to is beet rasam provided you add the cumin and chilliflakes. May be addition of angelica may change the taste.I liked the soup as it was very refreshing.The combo of pom and herbs will always be so.The additional ingredients enhance it and provide a filling meal.
Now lets see what others are making for celebrating the delicious recipe filled book.
Simran made Lavash
Jaya brought a delicious Lentil soup
Aqua served Dugh - a lovely yoghurt drink
Update on 31st August 2009: The little soup that remained became more flavourful and tasty the next day.The soup containing lentils is on way to MLLA:14 hosted by the creator The Well Seasoned Susan herself.A warm bowl of soup also joins the Soup N'Juice Event by Sireesha who is celebrating 150 post landmark in her hearty blog.